Marine gives up NFL: A college wide receiver and former Marine who is contemplating re-enlisting, said reports that the Boston Marathon spurred his decision were wrong.
Brandon O’Brien, a wide receiver and kick returner with Montana State University, has been ruminating over whether to re-enlist instead of going into the NFL.
But that decision, contrary to many reports, is not motivated by patriotism from the Boston Marathon explosions.
“I’ve heard that a lot of veterans think that this is a publicity stunt and this is the complete opposite,” O’Brien told Beyond Sports Network. “I don’t want the media attention for my decision to go back into the military. It’s not about that. It’s about doing what I feel is right and that is to follow my heart and protect my country.”
O’Brien began soul-searching about two weeks ago, and has pretty much decided to forgo entering the NFL. “I was put here to help people and not play professional football,” he said. “The military is a passion of mine and it is something I hold close to my heart and love to be a part of.”
He served in the Marines several years ago, including when in 2009 he saved two other Marines’ lives by swimming out in heavy rip currents. He was later gived the Navy and Marine Corp Medal.
He hasn’t re-enlisted yet. He’s eying going into the Air Force, specifically the Para-Rescue team.
“I know that it will be a very difficult task to become a part of that special forces unit, but it is something that I will give 100% to so I can be a part of that team,” O’Brien said.
He told the network that he wishes his decision didn’t garner media attention.
“Those that truly know me understand that I’m not getting back into the military for the media attention, the public fame, or the recognition,” he said. “I don’t want the pat on the back. We [military personnel] don’t join the military for the recognition or the fame. I just want people to know that all the attention I have received because of these false reports is not wanted at all.”