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Nov 12, 2015 4:30 PM

2 uniforms, 1 man: Patriots' Joe Cardona honored by teammates for service on Veterans Day


FOXBOROUGH- On Veteran's Day we honor our military. For the New England Patriots, they see the dedication of one military member up close. A teammate who performs on the field and serves our country after practice.

It’s two uniforms for one man.

Gillette Stadium is one place where rookie long snapper Joe Cardona calls home; the second is the base he shares with his other teammates - the Navy.

“It just says a ton about his character; the way he wants to serve this country and that's number one, and football obviously a very big deal to him,” said teammate Rob Ninkovich.

Joe Cardona, 25, is the only active NFL player who's also an active military member. Playing on a professional sports team takes dedication but then add that travel and preparation with 4 days a week as a staff officer at the Military Naval Prepatory Academy in Rhode Island. An experience Cardona said has only helped with football.

“You really have a heavy emphases on academics, military bearing as well as athletics,” said Cardona. “The biggest thing is you're showing up and doing your part on every single end.”

Cardona said he had an early interest in serving as his father was also a member of the Navy. He said the salute to the troops at Sunday’s Patriots’ game against the Washington Redskins was special. He said that sports provides an escape for military members and for him, they’re two worlds collided to form one.

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