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NEWS | May 10, 2019

Spurs legend speaks, signs autographs at Military Spouse Appreciation event

By David DeKunder 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Former San Antonio Spurs legend David Robinson spoke to military spouses and children, signed autographs and shot some hoops during the Military Spouse Appreciation Day event at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston May 9.

The event, sponsored by Johnsonville Sausage and the USO, included family-friendly games, basketball, music and food for military families at MacArthur Field, across from the Lincoln Family Housing Community Center at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.

Robinson, the 10-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA champion who played 14 seasons for the Spurs, was the center of the attention at the event. He also starred at the U.S. Naval Academy and is a Navy veteran, having served for two years in the branch before being drafted by the Spurs.

Chief Master Sgt. Chris Lantagne, 502nd Air Base Wing and JBSA command chief, introduced Robinson to the crowd.

Robinson spoke about his experiences being in a military family and the child of a Sailor. His father, Ambrose, served in the Navy and would be away from home many times. That meant the responsibility for raising Robinson and his siblings fell on the shoulders of his mother, Freda.

“I remember growing up my dad would go to sea for several months at a time,” Robinson said. “My mom would have to be both mom and dad to me.

“I remember she would always say, ‘Well, you wait till your dad gets home. I’m going to tell him everything you did,’” Robinson said laughing. “But I saw what she did to keep our family strong. I just know what it takes for spouses of military families. I know the energy, the effort, what it means, how you’re the backbone of the family. So, for me being able to be here and encourage you and thank you for what you do is a blessing for me. Thank you for your sacrifices, for the country, for each other and for keeping this country strong.”

Afterwards, speaking to the local media, Robinson reflected furthermore on the sacrifices military spouses and their children make each day.

“I know the price that people pay to serve our country, and so it’s just a blessing to be able to come in and encourage the families here that are paying that price for us,” he said.

After his remarks, fans swarmed Robinson as he signed autographs, basketballs and Spurs memorabilia. He posed for photos and got to play basketball with some of the fans. Robinson was able to enjoy the food, including the sausage grilled at the event before heading out.