Rob Gronkowski's Latest Photos Draw Attention Ahead of 4th of July

Newly retired New England Patriots player, Rob Gronskowski shared a few photos of himself meeting [...]

Newly retired New England Patriots player, Rob Gronskowski shared a few photos of himself meeting with members of the U.S. Military this week ahead of the Fourth of July. Gronkowski's post had many Americans in a patriotic mood as they prepared to celebrate the nation's birthday, and they were impressed by his dedication to the nation's defenders.

"Great day meeting the soldiers of our country and their family members!" Gronkowski wrote. "Patriots fans everywhere!"

Gronkowski's pictures were taken at the Fort Gordon Army Base in in Grovetown, Georgia. The showed the New England Patriots tight end posing arm in arm with men and women in uniform, posing for big group shots as well as informal selfies. He appeared to be standing in front of a "meet and greet" board, and it looks like he signed at least one football for a fan, and a jersey for another.

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Fans showered Gronkowski in compliments on his post. One of the top comments came from his older brother, Chris Gronkowski, who also played professional football for a number of years.

"Great work bro. Nothing like visiting the men and women that protect our freedoms," he wrote.

"Proud of you big guy, I know they appreciated that!" added Joe Cardona, Gronkowski's Patriots teammate who is himself a U.S. Navy veteran.

"You may be a retired football player... but you'll ALWAYS be a Patriot!!" a fan declared. "Love that you're still representing the team like you do! Still doing all the great work that you've always done! You make PatsNation very proud Mr. Gronkowski."

Many fans are still coming to terms with Gronkowski's retirement, which he announced just this spring. In March, Gronkowski explained to his Instagram followers why he would not be returning to the NFL for a tenth season.

"It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today," he wrote.

Gronkowski thanked his coaches, his teammates and of course his fans. The acclaimed receiver took none of his experiences for granted, but he felt that there was still more to do off the field, and he was anxious to get to it.

"Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be," he wrote. "But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life."