MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - 29-year-old Alejandro Villanueva, the Pittsburgh Steelers player who stood near the tunnel with his hand over his heart Sunday during the national anthem, was born while his father was assigned to NAS Meridian.
Villanueva's father was a Spanish naval officer who worked for NATO.
Ignacio Villanueva and his wife, Matilda, were here when he was born in 1988, although Alejandro grew up in other locations.
Villanueva attended the U.S. Military Academy, played football for Army and was a captain with the Army Rangers. He received the Bronze Star for valor.
Other Steelers stayed off the sideline for the national anthem Sunday.
The Steelers lost the game to the Chicago Bears 23-17.
Some players have been kneeling during the national anthem since last season. The issue was again highlighted in a series of tweets by President Trump, who was critical of the action.