It's understandable if you don't remember Jake Bequette's playing career in New England. After being selected in the 3rd round (90th overall) of the 2012 draft out of Arkansas, injuries limited the defensive end to just eight games over three seasons. The team tried switching him to tight end after the 2014 season, but again he was IR'ed and never played again. Though he did get a ring for Super Bowl XLIX, his playing career was a disappointment by any measurement.
Except one. Except in the real world off the field.
By that standard, Bequette's bad luck with injuries was good for us all. Because no sooner did his football career end than he began his current career. He enlisted in the United States Army, completed Basic Training at Fort Benning, GA. And shortly thereafter qualified for the Basic Officers Leader Course and achieved his current rank of 1st Lieutenant. And while pro football lost a potential two-way elite player, America gained another defender. Another defender on the wall, standing watch between us and the forces that seek to do us all harm.
It's like what Archibald "Moonlight" Graham says when Ray Kinsella tells him, "It would KILL some men to get so close to their dream and not touch it. God, they'd consider it a tragedy," and he replies, "Son, if I'd only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes... now that would have been a tragedy." For the country, it would've been tragedy if we had one more athlete and one less leader of men of valor.
This Veteran's Day weekend, just appreciate we live in a nation that seems to have an endless reservoir of people like Jake Bequette answering the call of duty. God bless.