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Published:August 19th, 2006 04:35 EST

Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold pre-game practice at MacDill AFB by Staff Sgt. Randy Redman

By SOP newswire

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFPN) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers broke training camp Thursday and in an unprecedented move for the team, held its day-before-game walk-through at MacDill AFB, Fla.

The Buccaneers, who play their second pre-season game against the Miami Dolphins Saturday, have a long-standing relationship and community partnership with the military here.

"You guys have no idea what a great morale booster it is for you to come out and do this," said Col. Maggie Woodward, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander. "It means a lot that you think enough of us to do this."

Friday's practice was open to all base personnel, and everyone who attended was able to stand on the base's athletic field and get an up-close look at the 2006 Buccaneers. It was also an opportunity for the team to thank the men and women of the base for their service to the country.

Colonel Woodward presented a framed flag, which was flown over Iraq by a KC-135 flight crew deployed from MacDill, to Head Coach Jon Gruden,

"You're the real heroes and we thank you so much for this opportunity," said Coach Gruden, who gave Colonel Woodward a football signed by the team.

The Bucs frequently invite members of the military to be guests at practices at their own facility. Buccaneer players and coaches have also been invited to MacDill on several occasions where they received base tours and briefings on the diverse missions at the base.

Source: USAF