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Marine Captain’s Memories of Junior Seau

Junior Seau and Capt. Albert Flores Jr.
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Above: Junior Seau and Capt. Albert Flores Jr.

We learned yesterday that the late football great Junior Seau had a soft spot in his heart for military families; each year, the Junior Seau Foundation would host Thanksgiving dinner for the troops and their loved ones.

Today, another story about Seau's admiration of the military has come to light. Camp Lejeune-based Marine Capt. Albert Flores Jr. sent the sports website Deadspin an email about an unexpected evening he spent with Seau last year, during a business trip to Camp Pendleton near Seau's hometown of Oceanside, California.

That email reads, in part:

On my final day of a business trip last year to the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., I was walking along the Oceanside Harbor in search of a place to eat and have a few beers. In the mood for something simple I had hoped to find a small bar that served food and was not too crowded. I came across exactly that—a small bar with maybe six customers inside. Sitting next to me at the bar were three large men of Samoan decent who were laughing and having a good time with the bartender. I wasn't sure at first, but then after a double-take it clicked in my head that I was sitting with Junior Seau. He was a monster of a man, wearing a ball cap and all smiles. I couldn't believe that I was sitting next to one of my favorite football players growing up as a kid. The same linebacker that I impersonated for years on all my football video games.

After a few minutes, the older of the three Samoan men had asked what I was up to in Oceanside and I had told him that I was a Captain in the Marines headed back to my home station at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Junior Seau interrupted and said, "Wow, man. I really admire what you do. You guys are real heroes." Starstruck for a moment, I didn't know how to respond. Did one of my childhood heroes really just call me a hero? He did indeed, and refused to let me pay for my dinner or any more drinks for the night. I was surprised to find out that Junior Seau was not only a former member of the Patriots, he was an American patriot.

To read the entire email on Deadspin, click here.

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