JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- The USS Phillipine Sea is one special vessel. Not only does it defend the United States of America, but it was hand chosen by the Jacksonville Jaguars to receive a few special gifts.
Tuesday, several players showed up at the ship's mess hall to visit with sailors and show their patriotic spirit.
"It's an awesome experience. I know I speak for all my teammates here. We wouldn't rather be anywhere else than on this ship right now meeting these guys," Cornerback Will Middleton said.
The trip was particularly special for Middleton. His brother is in the Navy and currently on his 2nd tour.
"It makes me appreciative for what he does for this country and for what I'm able to do. Come out here, sign autographs, meet some of these sailors. Both the men and women that serve this country very, very admirably. It makes me really proud to be an American," he continued.
After the ooh's and ahh's were out of the way, the shipmates lined up to get signed footballs and posters. They even took pictures. On top of that, more than 200 received tickets to Sunday's game against the Texans.
"It's great to be able to go watch a football game and have some time off and watch them on TV and actually go to the game," FC3 Samantha Oschman said.
The players also received a tour of the ship and an inside look at what goes on everyday. It's a shared experience and one both parties will never forget.
"It definitely shows that they appreciate what we do and the sacrifices we make to keep everybody safe," Oschman said.
"Thank you guys very much. Go Navy. Beat Army," Middleton said with a smile.