Former Tennessee Volunteer and current Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning visited with US troops at various stops on a USO tour last week.
Manning was part of a group that included his former teammate, free agent wide receiver Austin Collie, as well as Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson. The group stopped at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy, where Manning autographed footballs and tossed them to service men and women in the audience.
ABC News 7 in Denver quoted Peyton Manning as saying to the troops:
“Thanks from the bottom of my heart ,the one thing that has always motivated me playing football is being accountable to my teammates. What’s really driven me for the past 16 years playing football is being accountable, doing my job at the very best that I can to be accountable to help my teammates. I know that’s exactly what you believe in, as it’s really what the military is all about.”
The group then headed to Afghanistan to meet with troops at Camp Leatherneck. Manning and Collie put on a demonstration on stage showing how a quarterback and receiver connect. Manning then presented Major General W. Lee Miller with an autographed football on behalf of the NFL.
Manning told the crowd he was thinking of them and praying for their safe return, a sentiment that is certainly shared by many.
From the handling of his departure from Indianapolis, to calling and thanking local beat writers for their work, it doesn’t get much classier then Peyton Manning. Manning has put on a clinic in recent years on how to handle yourself and treat others.