SAN DIEGO -- For many members of the Cardinals family, the 11th anniversary of attacks of September 11th was in the presence of those who have played a major role in the nation's military response to the tragedy: U.S. Navy SEALs.
Players Tony Cruz, Pete Kozma, and Shane Robinson were among the Cardinals contingent that made the trip to the U.S. Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado. The group was shown a video on the SEAL experience, got to watch some SEAL training from afar, and met some of the current SEALs.
"Those guys are a different breed. Their attention to detail, the training they go through ... I was like 'I don't think I could ever do this,'" Robinson said. "It was good to see what those guys go through and know that they're on our side. It was an honor to be there."
While the players said the September 11th anniversary wasn't a major point of emphasis, the group was shown a memorial to fallen SEALS, some of whom served in the response to the attacks.
"They were saying they would never have suspected on September 10  that something like that would happen, so now they have people deployed throughout the country to be ready for anything," Robinson said. "Listening to what they had to say, you're just like 'Wow, this stuff is serious.' I didn't know too much about everything that they did, but they do it all. I was very impressed."
"It was awesome," Kozma said. "It was really cool to be there, see what they do. We saw them actually working, the whole facility, the gym -- it was pretty cool."
The group also got to try their hand at the base's shooting range. And while the players said that was an experience in itself, the overwhelming takeaway across the board was the sacrifices and effort the SEALs are putting in on behalf of their countrymen.
"Honestly, just hearing what they go through, some of the horror stories ... I'm married, I have kids, I was wondering how they go over there, do those things, and then just turn it off," Robinson said. "I have huge respect for what they do."