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Trey McBride, DeeJay Dallas Visit Troops In Poland

Cardinals players take part in NFL's USO program

Cardinals tight end Trey McBride (second from left front) and running back DeeJay Dallas (back right) join U.S. soldiers station in Poland for a recent USO tour.
Cardinals tight end Trey McBride (second from left front) and running back DeeJay Dallas (back right) join U.S. soldiers station in Poland for a recent USO tour.

Over the last month, running back DeeJay Dallas walked into two new locker rooms. The first was the Cardinals locker room in Tempe. The other didn't have your typical helmet pads and cleats.

As part of the NFL's Salute to Service Initiative, Dallas and Cardinals tight end Trey McBride went abroad to Poland to visit United States service members.

"The camaraderie in those (military) locker rooms, it's the same as the (NFL) locker rooms," said Dallas, who signed with the Cardinals in March. "This is just football with guns, honestly."

Both Dallas and McBride have military backgrounds. Dallas' brother recently graduated from the Army as an 11 Charlie Mortarman in the infantry. For McBride, his brother and grandfather were in the Navy.

When the two were given the option to visit the troops on the United Service Organizations tour, it was an opportunity they embraced.

"It's something that's really near and dear to me," McBride said. "I wanted to be an advocate for them and when I got asked to go to Poland, I couldn't turn it down. It was a phenomenal experience, and I had a blast."

Familial background provided familiarity for Dallas and McBride ahead of the trip, but prior to take off, there was none between Dallas and McBride. They had never met.

When Dallas agreed to take part in the trip, it was during the season while he was still a member of the Seahawks. He didn't know until a week before the trip that McBride, his new teammate, was the other player the NFL invited to join him.

"I still didn't know who I was going with and then they showed me (the list), and I was like 'Dang, that's a teammate,'" Dallas said. "They showed me a flyer and it was Trey and then me, still in my Seahawks gear."


McBride said getting to know his newest teammate was a great bonding experience, mentioning that Dallas joined "the good side over here."

While the duo was overseas, they spent time learning about the various roles in the military, visited six different military bases, had meals with the soldiers, and played Madden video game tournaments among the activities during the three-day trip.

McBride and Dallas were challenged by the service members to compete in the Army combat fitness test. The drill consisted of sprinting, weightlifting, pushups, planks, all capped by a two-mile run.

Dallas was aware of the fitness test because his brother finished with a 599 score out of 600. Dallas couldn't quite reach that, completing the daunting test with a 539.

McBride and Dallas had similar takeaways from the trip. For Dallas, knowing that "these are the people, and to meet these people that protect us and protect our country, it was basically the front line" stood out to him.

For McBride, it just created an immense amount of gratitude.

"Just to be out there and see the excitement on their faces when we showed up, to see how happy they were that we were there," McBride said. "It was just an awesome experience to see how they live, to be an advocate for them, and to show them that they're not forgotten and that we care about them."