Hawaii native Alohi Gilman began playing college football in 2016 at the US Naval Academy, starting 12 out of 14 games, and tallying 76 tackles as a safety.
However, when given a chance to leave Navy for Notre Dame, Gilman abandoned ship.
GIlman’s going AWOL from the Midshipmen didn’t sit well with six prior-military college football fans, who wrote him a letter and accused him of skipping out on his then-future obligation to serve his country in the Navy.
The letter was signed anonymously and spared no quarter, accusing Gilman of spitting on the flag and showing cowardice.
Gilman was open about loving his country, but simply felt he didn’t have the passion to serve his country at his fullest. When a rule change allowed him to defer his military service to pursue an NFL career, he saw a way out.
“You were honored with the highest appointment possible to the United States Naval Academy and were given a one year prep school scholarship because of your questionable academic record,” the letter says. “And how do you thank our great country for giving you a chance to serve? You spit on the flag and transfer because you believe you can make the NFL quicker.”
“I wasn’t as passionate in the military,” Gilman said last season. “I have so much respect for the military. I learned so many things, but I wasn’t as passionate (about) fulfilling that service commitment. They changed the rule, so ultimately that tipped me over to transferring.”
During a post-game interview in 2018, he jokes about giving his former teammates a hard time about beating them with the Notre Damn team as well as the difficulty he had transitioning from a “military member’ to a civilian.
Gilman posted the letter to his Snapchat, which was posted to Twitter by several individuals. In many of the comments, veterans seemed supportive of Gilman, and felt the “veterans” in question might not even be real veterans.
© 2019 Bright Mountain Media, Inc.
All rights reserved. The content of this webpage may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written consent of Bright Mountain Media, Inc. which may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, ticker BMTM.