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John Harbaugh, Players Skype With Soldiers

Posted Nov 21, 2012

The Ravens head coach spoke to a small group of soldiers in Afghanistan with Maryland roots.


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh and a handful of players wanted to convey their thanks to troops abroad.

Harbaugh used his iPad to skype with members of the Army National Guard based in Laurel, Md., and currently stationed in Afghanistan.

Harbaugh brought along wide receiver Torrey Smith, kicker Justin Tucker, punter Sam Koch, long snapper Morgan Cox, linebacker Josh Bynes, guard Antoine McClain, linebacker Nigel Carr and safety Omar Brown.

“We’re proud of you guys, proud of what you do and we wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving,” Harbaugh said. “Thanks for what you do. Thanks for being who you are.”

The soldiers responded with, “tashakur,” the Dari word for “thank you.”

The Ravens then began learning about the soldiers and their lives abroad and at home.

A history, politics and military buff, Harbaugh asked how the efforts of working with the local people in Afghanistan are going.

The coach and his players were clearly invested in hearing what the soldiers had to say about the situation abroad. The soldiers expect to come home by next summer, in time for the 2013 season.

One was born and raised in Essex, another is from Hagerstown and currently lives in Williamsport and another lived on the Eastern Shore for 15 years.

Harbaugh asked the soldiers whether they were fired up after the 13-10 win in Pittsburgh on Sunday. The soldiers replied in the affirmative.

“For two reasons, yeah,” one soldier said. “One, because you guys won. Two, my son, for whatever reason, is being rebellious and is a Steelers fan.”

A different soldier was a Baltimore Colts fan who went to a few Colts Corral banquets who then switched to being a Redskins fan when the team left. But he’s back in the Ravens camp now. Another troop’s wife coached one of the current Ravens cheerleaders on the high school cheer squad.

Before signing off, the soldiers requested Ravens tickets for when they return home.

“You got it,” Harbaugh said.

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