NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans receiver Tre McBride knows all about the sacrifices, and the commitment.
A seventh-round pick in the 2015 draft out of William & Mary, McBride worked hard to make it to the NFL. He's currently in his third offseason with the team, focused on earning a roster spot for 2017.
The lessons McBride learned growing up in a military family helped shape him, and left a lasting impression, he said.
McBride recently saw his father rewarded for his commitment at Fort Hood Army base in Texas, when Col. Douglas M. McBride Jr. was promoted to brigadier general. McBride joined his mother and sister in the special ceremony, when they ceremonially pinned their father.
Memorial Day is a special day for all Americans to honor those who fought and died for their country. McBride said it's significant for him because of his military background. His father served lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his grandfather served in Vietnam.
"I have so much respect for everyone in the military, and the sacrifices they make," McBride said. "I have never known my dad without having military attached to it. Obviously there's a lot of moving around, a lot of sacrifices, a lot of adapting and adjusting that comes with being in a military family. ... Being in a military family, I was raised with the same morals and values that the Army carries, and I am thankful for that."
On a weekend America celebrates its freedom, the Tennessee Titans wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July! (Donn Jones, staff, AP)
Tre McBride's full name is Douglas McArthur McBride III.
He was born at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, but moved from state to state as a youngster when his father was moved to different bases. His father stayed on him about everything, something he appreciates even more now.
"He mainly preached the principle of getting your work done first so you could "play" later," McBride said. "Every Saturday morning I couldn't do anything with my friends until I cleaned the whole house. First thing I did when I got home was do my homework and he would check to make sure I did my homework. It was that kind of lifestyle, which I am grateful for at this point.
"With that came a respect from him, that he trusted me."
McBride still remembers the feeling when his father was deployed for long stretches. When the family moved to Georgia, McBride said the decision was made for him and his sister to stay in one place for middle school and high school, but his father moved six or seven times. His dad watched some of his games at William & Mary on the Internet, and stayed in touch on Skype and Facetime.
McBride was a standout at William & Mary, where he graduated with a degree in kinesiology.
McBride, who took part in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) in college, said he's proud of his father, and military background. Last April, McBride traveled to Fort Campbell and talked to students about his time as a military child and his path to the NFL.
He traveled to Fort Campbell with his teammates earlier this month when the Titans trained with the soldiers. In the past year, the Titans and the 101st Airborne have strengthen their bond with various projects, something the McBride family appreciates.
"Everyone in the military, they don't get paid enough for the sacrifices they make, and I really am glad to see the Titans are appreciating it and starting to pair up and build such a rapport with the military," McBride said. "It means a lot to me, and I know my dad appreciates it, too."
Titans QB Marcus Mariota, LB Derrick Morgan, head coach Mike Mularkey and GM Jon Robinson headline Day 3 of Titans Caravan in Fort Campbell and Clarksville. (Photos: Gary Glenn)