SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Chargers held a brief practice aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan Wednesday in preparation for Thursday's preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Qualcomm Stadium, their 25th annual Salute to the Military game.
The team practiced from 11-11:30 a.m. on the Reagan's flight deck before meeting with Navy families.
Some players also participated in a Play 60 camp that started at 9 a.m. in the ship's Hangar Bay. Play 60 is the NFL's ongoing youth fitness campaign, which encourages children to partake in a physical activity for at least 60 minutes a day.
Chargers safety Marcus Gilchrist also comes from a military family -- his dad served in the Marine Corps.
“One of those things he instilled in me is ... being disciplined in everything you do, whether it’s being in academics or on the football field, so it’s one of those things that translate onto the field,” Gilchrist said.
The USS Ronald Reagan, more than three times the length of a football field, is docked at Naval Air Station North Island.
“We all want to be able to give back and give thanks for what [service members are] doing for us everyday,” said Chargers defensive tackle Kwame Geathers.
Tight end, Ben Cotton, also told 10News how grateful he is for military men and women.
“I have nothing but the utmost respect for the service men and women of this country,” Cotton said. “For me personally, I’ll think that’s one of the coolest things I will have gotten to do in my entire football career is getting to practice in front of the men and women who protect this country."