Larry Fitzgerald honors WWII, Korean, Vietnam veteran Col. James Balla

Larry Fitzgerald honors WWII, Korean, Vietnam veteran Col. James Ballard at Cardinals game

January 22, 2016

Larry Fitzgerald honors WWII, Korean, Vietnam veteran Col. James Ballard at Cardinals game

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald took time to honor a veteran on the sidelines despite being in the middle of a football game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fitzgerald has been a supporter of the military, veterans and military families for quite some time. In fact, the U.S. military runs in NFL player's family.

Larry Fitzgerald's grandfather was a Lieutenant in the Army and was awarded with a Purple Heart for his service in Korea. Also, his aunt and uncle, Paul and Sam Jones, are both Lieutenant Colonels in the Army.

Larry, himself, attended Valley Forge (PA) Military Academy after high school.

He also gives his time to promote military events such as the football camp he held for military kids.

Larry Fitzgerald Puts Smile on Veteran's Face During Game

With all of the above being said, it was no surprise that Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald would take time to honor a veteran on the sidelines.

The great thing about this story is the impact this one moment had on U.S. Air Force Colonel James Ballard - a veteran who served in the Air Force during World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War.

During the game, Fitzgerald made his way to the sidelines and spoke with U.S. Air Force Colonel James Ballard to thank and honor the man for his years of service. Fitzgerald even removed his glove to shake Ballard's hand and presented him with a signed practice ball.

It was what his grandson Chris Ballard told others after the game that makes this moment even more special.

"He was smiling non-stop the entire night," Chris said. "He just lost his bride of 64 years in September, so this whole experience to brighten his day was beyond words."

You can see the veteran's ear to ear grin in the photo below.

Larry Fitzgerald honors WWII, Korean, Vietnam veteran

Thank you Larry Fitzgerald for honoring this veteran and for all the support you've given the military community over the years. Best of luck as you continue your journey to the Super Bowl with this weekend's game against the Carolina Panthers.

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2 Responses

Richard Berry
Richard Berry

February 22, 2016

Thank you Mr. Fitzgerald,for honoring this veteran and for all you do for all of the other veterans! This story should of made national news,instead of all the negetive news,the world needs more good samatarians,Thanks again!

Donna J.Anderson
Donna J.Anderson

February 22, 2016

These was a wonderful thing to honor this vet. God Bless all involved and to our veterans, Thank You for your Service.

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