Wide receiver James Hardy, defensive back Lydell Sargeant, and cornerback Ashton Youboty visited military veterans at the VA Western New York Health Care System in Buffalo on February 12th to show their respect and appreciation for those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
"They basically gave up their lives to make sure we have the things that we have today," said wide receiver James Hardy. "I have a couple of uncles who are in the military so I'm sort of used to this. To see how they were after they came back home, I got to see how much family means to them. I definitely had to make sure I was here to put a smile on their face the best way I possibly can."
The visit to the VA hospital hit home with Sargeant as well. Sargeant's dad is in the military and served in Afghanistan during his senior year in high school, so he is familiar with the toll it takes on family and what veterans go through.
"I came to show my respect for everything that they have done for their country," said Sargeant. "It's a tall order they are willing to pay to protect our country. It's the least we can do to come here and show our appreciation and try to make their day better."
Youboty added, "I wanted to show my appreciation to those who have put their lives on the line and give them thanks. It can get lonely in the hospital all day by yourself – I just wanted to put a smile on their faces and tell them thank you."
Buffalo Bills alumni Charley Ferguson, Marlo Perry, Pete Mills, Bob Dugan, Lou Piccone and the Jills cheerleaders also joined the Bills players and spent time visiting and showing their support of the military patients and volunteers at the hospital.
The veterans received Valentine's Day cards from children throughout Buffalo and the Jills, Bills players and Bills alumni helped deliver the cards to the vets during their visit.
The Bills contingency signed autographs, did what they could to brighten the day of the men and women at the VA hospital and, more importantly, treated the vets as the heroes that they are.