Former Army Ranger Defies Team… Is Only Steelers Player To Stand For National Anthem [VIDEO]

Former Army Ranger Defies Team… Is Only Steelers Player To Stand For National Anthem [VIDEO]

Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva, who plays offensive tackle for the Steelers, was the only Steel City man standing up for his flag and his nation today at Soldier Field in Chicago. Villanueva is a West Point graduate, an Army veteran, former Army Captain and Army Ranger, who served three tours in Afghanistan and received the Bronze Star for valor.

And his valor continues to shine. While all his teammates on the Pittsburgh Steelers cowered in the locker room and avoided the opportunity to stand for our nation and our flag, Villanueva stood proudly in the tunnel at Soldier Field in Chicago, aptly named when it comes to today’s brave actions by the former Army Ranger.

According to, “Soldier Field was designed in 1919 and opened on October 9, 1924, as Municipal Grant Park Stadium. The name was changed to Soldier Field on November 11, 1925, as a memorial to U.S. soldiers who had died in combat.”

The very stadium is meant to honor our fallen soldiers yet all but one of the Pittsburgh players could not be bothered to get out there and put hand over heart for the anthem, the flag and the blood of patriots who purchased them for us.

When the rest of the team exited the tunnel just before game time, the Chicago fans booed them. Yes, these players have the freedom to do what they want in protests, as long as their employer has okayed it. But the fans also have a right to protest and register their disgust.

It took courage for Captain Villanueva to buck the trend of being disrespectful to our anthem and flag, and stand there alone in the tunnel with hand over heart. But a man that has done three tours in Afghanistan and seen the high cost of our freedom in person, is already courageous. Maybe the other players should serve a tour or two. Then maybe they’d stop being disrespectful.

Many thanks to Alejandro Villanueva, whose stand for respect and gratitude for our freedoms, dwarfed the small minded actions of small minded players across the nation’s football fields who knelt in “solidarity” with disrespect. Captain Villanueva, you are to be commended. And may we all continue to be grateful for our freedom, our nation, our flag and the blood of those who died to protect it.

And may we look at and honor men like Villanueva and ignore the petulant antics of those who think their freedoms are free. Let’s keep an eye out on every team for those who stand in honor and simply forget about those who won’t. Every week let’s note the respectful players on our social media and leave out the whiners and kneelers. Let’s publicly lift up goodness, not petulance.

Bravo to Alejandro Villanueva. Everybody’s favorite Steeler.

Sonja Bochow

I live in Newark, DE, am married, and the mother of four children; Liam, Brenna, Keira and Erin. I am also a full time Bible teacher and have a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from West Chester University.

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