Alejandro Villanueva To Hand Out Army Decals To Steelers This Weekend

Really cool story for you guys. In honor of Veteran’s Day this weekend, Alejandro Villanueva is handing out Army decals for each Pittsburgh Steeler to weak this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts. Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Villanueva is handing out decals for 13 different Army divisions. Villanueva served as an Army Ranger in the military.

“It’s just a small-unit patch that really doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but the history behind it means the whole world to a lot of veterans,” Villanueva told Fowler. “They died for that patch. When you watch the Steelers on Sunday and you see the flash of the 10th round division and the 7th round division … you’re calling out specific units.”

Villanueva is handing out specific decals to match the personalities of each player. Fowler’s article has a couple examples and it’s a really cool touch to the gesture.

Obviously, there was plenty of backlash in Week 3 when the Steelers stayed in the tunnel during the National Anthem and, according to the team, miscommunication caused Villanueva to stand by himself outside of it. Shortly after, Villanueva became the league’s top-selling jersey. I believe he is somewhere in the top 25 of jersey sales currently. He’s reiterated he doesn’t want to be seen as a post child for boycotts or anti-kneeling protests, saying the media “used him as a tool” in their political spin of it all.

In this video, also from Fowler, you can check out Villanueva giving Marcus Gilbert a 101st Airborne Division decal. Gilbert said he was honored and thanked Villanueva for his service.

Politics aside, I know it’s a messy time in that realm, this is an awesome gesture and great way to honor those who serve and those who have given their life for this country. I’m sure we’ll see plenty of close-ups of the decals during Sunday’s game.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Very proud to have big Al on the Steelers team.

  • Darth Blount 47

    That is cool. I loved how at the end he is asked about contacting the Navy for decals and he gives the very Army answer of: “I’m not going to reach out to Navy football — under no circumstances.”

    The rivalry between the different branches is real but humorous.

    If Villy’s play mirrors what it did at the end of last season, we are gonna be set at LT during our run. Protecting Ben and blowing holes wide open for Bell. With a healthy Gilbert, we may finally have our whole Offense back together and firing on all cylinders. How glorious a sight will that finally be?!?! I just hope it lasts longer than a few plays. Killer JuJu Bee’s…. UNITE!

  • dany

    “Villanueva is handing out specific decals to match the personalities of each player”

    as someone who dislikes militaries I gotta admit, this is pretty cool

  • Applebite

    Who’s the 10th and 7th Round division? Were these a couple of quick edit errors?

  • pittfan

    That’s what AV was quoted as saying. Must be inside baseball.

  • Putter

    I didn’t hear the interview but I’d assume it was 10th Mountain Division, currently stationed at Ft Drum, NY.

  • Alex Kozora

    Yeah I dunno, that’s from Fowler’s quote. I didn’t change anything.

  • Chris92021

    As a former Army veteran, I can tell you, the rivalry is very real. I still take every shot across the bow against the Squids or Pukes (Navy guys) and the My A$$ Rides In Naval Equipment (Marines) and the Air Force guys, who are more IT guys wearing uniforms than soldiers. But it is all in good fun. We are all on the same team. Big Al is very easy to root for guys like me. And yeah, I can’t wait to see the decals this weekend. It is going to make that victory over the Colts even sweeter!!

  • William Weaver

    It is mountain. Out dated now but specifically trained to fight in mountainous regions. As Tomlin would say, the Army tries to be multiple now. Balanced. You have regular infantry divisions, air Calvary divisions, airborne and mechanized infantry. I am sure mountain divisions see time in flat ground though these days. I was with the 101st in desert storm.

  • Stairway7

    10th Mountain Division and 7th Infantry Division. Obvious error on Fowler’s part.

  • Cavallonator

    Sucks that this whole political push has been tied into the NFL. Love Big Al and just bought his salute to service jersey.

    Wish we had more guys with character like that.

  • pittfan

    +1,000.

  • pittfan

    Looks like he corrected it in his write up:

    “It’s just a small-unit patch that really doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but the history behind it means the whole world to a lot of veterans,” Villanueva said. “They died for that patch. When you watch the Steelers on Sunday and you see the flash of the 10th [Mountain] division and the 7th [Infantry] division … you’re calling out specific units.”

    Villanueva was part of two divisions, 10th Mountain and 75th Ranger Regiment, and served in Afghanistan before becoming an NFL player.