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Patriots' Joe Cardona promoted to lieutenant in Navy

On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Joe Cardona -- New England Patriots long snapper and U.S. Naval Academy graduate -- was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in the Navy.

Cardona, who was promoted from lieutenant junior grade, follows in his father's footsteps as a member of the Navy.

"Congratulations to Lieutenant Joe Cardona on his promotion," Bill Belichick said, via ESPN. "And obviously a day to remember our World War II veterans on D-Day. The 75th anniversary, that's kind of a big one for us. I want to recognize all the things that they did."

Cardona, a four-year NFL veteran, has juggled his football responsibilities in Foxborough and active-duty commitments at the Naval Preparatory Academy in nearby Newport, Rhode Island, per ESPN. A fifth-round pick in 2015, Cardona hasn't missed a game in his career.

"[We're] happy to recognize Joe on this day," said Belichick, whose father coached at the Naval Academy for 33 years. "It just makes it a special day for all of us."

"It's pretty emotional when you see someone take the oath like that and raise his hand," Tom Brady told reporters. "It's a big commitment Joe's made, and I think Joe has done it very proudly and does a great job educating a lot of us on what it means to him. I think we all appreciate that.

"We see the work he does here for us, but also the work he does for our country. I've talked to Joe a lot over the years about what his roles and responsibility are and I think everyone is proud of his accomplishments."

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