It is always great to see players go out of their way to show their respect to the Cincinnati community.
It often gets lost in the shuffle of other stories, but on Tuesday the Bengals gave 10 local Wounded Warriors a chance to come watch the Bengals practice. While the veterans may have thought they were the ones being treated, they soon found out that the players were just as excited to see them.
“We really appreciate everything. We appreciate your service and dedication,” Marvin Lewis told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “Thank you.”
Players were eager to give their time and in one case gloves to the The Warriors. Michael Kirchgessner, who was sent Bengals article clippings overseas from his wife in the 90s.
Tuesday, he was gifted a pair of gloves from the Bengals’ safety George Iloka. The gesture really shows how much these players respect The Warriors as Iloka recalled last year that Kirchgessner’s son wasn’t happy wearing Iloka’s No. 43 jersey, so Kirchgessner told Iloka about it on twitter. Iloka responded in a timely manner. This year he made sure that Kirchgessner’s son got a gift from the safety.
Iloka wasn’t the only one who made sure to go out of his way to talk to The Warriors. There was also Michael Goodman, who received a purple heart in 2005 and 2009. He had an IED blew him clear across a canal they were crossing in Iraq.
“It was December 2, 2009. From what my guys told me, the canal saved me. But my leg was ruined,” said Goodman, who has an artificial ball in an artificial hip. “I was devastated. My life wouldn’t be the same. But I got help. They flew my wife down to Bethesda, Maryland when I was still in the hospital.”
Goodman is now federal fire investigator who lives in Cincinnati. He had to overcome plenty of injures, which is why he looks up to the Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert so much. He also appreciates Eifert’s support of the troops.
“That’s what I like to see. He’s the one guy I wanted to meet today,” Goodman said. “It’s all about trying to overcome it and going forward.”