MAYPORT, Fla. -- A member of the Patriots football team was called back to Jacksonville for duty.
Eric Kettani is a patriot through and through. He was even living out his dream, playing football. He was a member of the New England Patriots, but that dream ended. Now he's a different kind of patriot.
Kettani is in the Navy and was just called back to duty. He arrived at the Mayport Naval base Friday. He tweeted, "Just reported on the USS Klakring and thank you everyone for your encouraging thoughts and support. Lets go Patriots beat the Jets!"
Kettani didn't leave without giving a shout out to his fellow teammates and fans. He tweeted "Just left Patriot Place for maybe the last time, took a pic for everyone...Go Patriots!"
Kettani's military obligations also prevented him from attending the 2009 scouting combine. The Patriots coach hopes Kettani can come back to football. "He had a great college career. We had him for a while then was gone. He's working his way back hopefully," said Coach Bill Belichick.
Kettani tried to appeal the Navy's decision to have him report back for duty, but it was denied in a letter saying, "As our nation is at war, it is important to ensure we maintain our commitment to the nation's defense. As such, a release from active duty would be inconsistent with that effort." The letter also stated they appreciate his service and encouraged him to pursue his football after he gets out of the Navy.
Kettani is appealing the decision, in part because both the Colts and Eagles have players from the Army and Air Force who have been able to continue their NFL careers.