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NFL player visits Tampa MEPS, flies with F-15 demo team

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Mark Spivak
  • 333rd Recruiting Squadron
NFL star DeAngelo Williams of the Carolina Panthers visited the Military Entrance Processing Station in Tampa, Fla., March 27 to meet with young men and women joining the armed forces.

Mr. Williams received a tour of the MEPS, mingled with applicants and received a mission briefing. He was escorted by members of the 333rd Recruiting Squadron of Melbourne, Fla., who were in town to support an Air Force Recruiting Service display at the MacDill Air Force Base air show. 

"It was a pleasure to meet DeAngelo Williams and escort him around Tampa," said Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Storman of the 333rd RCS. "He is very down to earth and a very genuine person."

Air Force applicant Dakota Slentz from Bradenton, Fla., told the NFL back that he was joining the Air Force to obtain job experience, to better himself and to add excitement to his life. 

"It was a surprise to meet DeAngelo Williams, a great perk," Mr. Slentz said. "I appreciate that he would take time out of his day to come see me at the MEPS."

After the visit to the MEPS, Mr. Williams was escorted to MacDill AFB to receive an orientation flight with the F-15E Strike Eagle Demo Team from Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C. The F-15 demo team serves to demonstrate the capabilities of Air Force high-performance aircraft and people while positively affecting recruiting and retention efforts and promoting community and international relations.

Col. Lawrence Martin, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander, welcomed Mr. Williams to MacDill upon his arrival to the operations building where the running back was fitted with his flight gear, received a missions briefing and then recorded a public service announcement for the 333rd RCS and Air Force Recruiting Service.

"The flight was out of this world. I've only done this in video games. The pilot was unbelievable," Mr. Williams said. "This entire experience was second to none. I never realized that people in the Air Force are different -- all about the job and their duties. I love the Air Force and learned a lot about all of the armed forces today."