HOUSTON (KIAH) — Their playing days are over, but a couple of former NFL players are showing their respect for the United States Armed Forces in a unique way.

Former Houston Texans star Whitney Mercilus has teamed up with former Cleveland Brown Joe Thomas to salute the military by getting a first hand look and what the daily life is for military dogs.

The players got behind-the-scenes access to their training with their handlers and what their missions entail.

The highlight of their experience was getting taken down by the K9 units as they tried to run away from them while wearing protective gear.

The USAA Official NFL Salute to Service program made it possible.