Duty calls for Argo

Ross Weaver takes a break during Argos Practice on Tuesday. (Sun Media/Dave Abel)

Ross Weaver takes a break during Argos Practice on Tuesday. (Sun Media/Dave Abel)

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:40 AM ET

American Ross Weaver's tour of duty in Double Blue will soon end, but his impact as an Argo won't soon be forgotten.

The import offensive lineman has been recalled by the U.S. air force, meaning Friday's game against the visiting Montreal Alouettes will mark Weaver's final appearance in Toronto for quite some time.

"It is unfortunate," Weaver said yesterday as news of his recall circulated throughout Argoland.

"It is what I signed up to do; that's what my education warranted.

"It's what I have to do."

On Saturday, Weaver will pack his belongings and return to Wyoming, where he'll be reunited with his new bride, Sarah, and resume his duty as a missile combat crew commander for the 321st Missile Squadron, a nuclear-based American air force base.

"The best way to describe my feeling is bittersweet," Weaver said. "The air force approved my leave and now it's been deemed that my expertise and training is in high need."

Weaver got the news of his recall on the weekend.

The Pentagon notified Weaver's commander, who in turned contacted Weaver.

UNCERTAIN FUTURE

Weaver has three years left on his commitment to the American air force and has no idea what the future holds, which may include deployment overseas.

Privately, Weaver knew his time in Toronto was drawing to an end when the U.S. army changed its thinking regarding Detroit Lions rookie Caleb Campbell, who was asked to serve his country after being told he could pursue his pigskin career.

Weaver was serving in the air force in May when the Argos signed the 6-foot-6 lineman.

Weaver already had received an approved leave before the signing.

He left the Argos last month for one game when he got married, a date that was set last year, well before three-down football ever entered into the equation.

"I have a lot of respect for people who serve in the military," veteran Argos offensive tackle Jude St. John said.

"He had my respect even before he touched the football field.

"It doesn't surprise me that he's going to do what's right in this situation and fulfil the commitment he made to himself."

Weaver started one game at left tackle next to St. John.

"He's composed on the field and he has the ability to play," St. John said. "At least he goes away knowing that he was successful. He proved that he can play at this level."

'GREAT LEADER'

Sitting to the right of Weaver's locker stall is fellow import Mike Galassi.

When Weaver left to get married, Galassi took his spot on the active roster.

He'll now be asked to fill Weaver's shoes on a permanent basis.

"He's a great guy and he's a great leader," Galassi said. "You hate to see him go. He's been a very good friend of mine since I've been here and it sucks."

Weaver, 25, isn't about to approach the next few days any differently.

"One of the ways I keep my self-respect and keep the respect of the organization is to approach it like a normal week," Weaver said.

"It's going to be tough to walk away from Rogers Centre because the experience I've had has been great.

"I hope at some point I'll be able to come back."

If that day arrives, Weaver will certainly be welcome with open arms.


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