Panthers' player visits with Camp Lejeune Marines - WNCT

Panthers' player visits with Camp Lejeune Marines

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CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -

What do Marines have in common with an NFL lineman? Well, more than you might think. 9 On Your Side found out as one of the Carolina Panthers came to visit some of our service members.

Carolina Panthers offensive lineman, Jeff Byers got down and dirty at Camp Lejeune Wednesday. The 6'4" 310 pound lineman took part in martial arts training drills alongside Marines as part of his visit to the base. He says it was fun to mix it up with some of the best and get a feel for how the Marines train for combat.

"I'm happy I was there, it was fun to get in and kind of get scrappy with some of the guys. You know I'm proud to say those guys are Marines and they're protecting this country, because those are some tough guys. It was a blast," said Byers.

After mixing it up in the martial arts training, Byers ate dinner in the mess hall with Marines from the H & S company. Private, Nick Surena says sharing stories with Byers and his fellow marines was a refreshing change of pace.

"I sort of got to see the civilian aspect of it, see it from the other side. Something you don't really get to see when you're a Marine yourself," said Surena.

Byers says he was honored to share the same table as the men and women who sacrifice so much for our country.

Byers was also presented with a command coin from the base commander at Camp Johnson. Byers is an ambassador of the USO of North Carolina, and says he looks forward to working more with our troops in the future.

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