Former Eagles cheerleader in the Army. Former Army Ranger on the Eagles.
The Philadelphia Eagles have signed defensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva to a rookie free agent contract. The 6-foot-9, 277-pound Villanueva spent the last four years as an active member of the U.S. Army, serving a total of three tours in Afghanistan. He was most recently promoted to Captain earlier this month. Villanueva has earned many honors for his service, including the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, the Ranger Tab, the Parachutist Badge, the Bronze Star Medal for overseas service, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Expert Infantryman’s Badge.
Upon completion, he reported to Fort Drum, N.Y., where he served in the 10th Mountain Division. While serving with the 10th Mountain Division, Villanueva deployed to Afghanistan for 12 months as a Rifle Platoon Leader. During his deployment, he earned a Bronze Star Medal for Valor for moving forward under enemy fire to pull his wounded Soldiers from their isolated position. When Villanueva returned from his first deployment to Afghanistan, he was assigned as a Rifle Company Executive Officer.
I want a Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon. Can I get one of those behind my computer? No? OK. Just checking.
I have no idea if Alejandro is any good at football, but he’s 6-9, his name is Alejandro, he’s yet another ex-military guy employed by Chip Kelly [last July told you about Shaun Huls, the Eagles’ sports science coordinator who was formerly the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Group 2’s performance coach] and he’s obviously a physical specimen. Now, will this be another Andy-Reid-I-can-make-a-firefighter-play-football signing, or will it turn out to be a great move? No idea. But I can get behind an Army Ranger named Alejandro.** Now we just need the guy who shot bin Laden and the Birds will be ready to soar. USA! USA! USA!
*I have no idea. Is that what you’re supposed to do for military posts? Is that even an Army thing? It felt right. I like it when things feel right.
**Literally. Please protect me, Ally.