Scott Pioli recalls growing up just north of New York City, in a small town called Washingtonville, not far from Stewart Air Force Base.
All the children from surrounding communities funneled into the same school district back then, including those from the military station. So Pioli had a chance to see firsthand at a young age the sacrifice that servicemen and women - and their families - make on a regular basis.
''It was fascinating to learn and watch how those families watched out for each other, and stuck up for each other,'' said Pioli, the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs. ''It's a tough life, a tough lifestyle. Then compound that by the reality of today, where people are risking their lives. It's one of the most selfless things you can do.''
Pioli joined Chiefs officials, cheerleaders and half a dozen members of the defensive backfield in visiting Whiteman Air Force Base on Tuesday, what would normally be a day off for the players.
They met dozens of troops and t...