Army Navy Game, FoxNews and the 98 Fund

 
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Army Navy Game, FoxNews and the 98 Fund

Busy weekend for Ye Olde Blogger.

As I said on the piece about the Iowa State Lecturer, I did a piece on FoxNews on Friday morning that went pretty well.  The only video I have is really low quality, so if/when I get a better copy of it, I will share it.  About the only thing that I really didn't like about it was the fact that it was on at 6:20 in the morning.  I know Fox has monster ratings, but not sure how many folks actually watch the news at that time of day.  It went well enough that Fox called me right back and asked if I could do a piece on Sunday, which I did as well, this time at the somewhat more reasonable hour of 7:20.  I should also have that appearance on YouTube at somepoint.

But in between those appearances, I got to spend time at one of the greatest sporting events one can attend: the 112th Army-Navy Game.  To be honest, I didn't actually even attend the game, just the tailgating, but there was a purpose to my presence.  But first, to read about the game, here's some good stuff from Bleacher Report:

Army vs. Navy: Grading the Black Knights' Loss Against Navy

 

But I was there for a charity event, a fundraiser for the "98 Fund".  Nick Palmisciano is the CEO of Ranger Up (which sells incredible military and mixed martial arts apparel), he's a fellow Trustee with me on the Board of Soldiers' Angels, he's in charge of marketting for the 98 Fund, and most of all, he's my friend.  When he asked me to attend the tailgating party and see what the 98 fund was all about, I leaped at the opportunity, since I kew other Legionnaires would be involved.  One person in particular I wanted to meet was sometime American Legion Magazine Author Kelly Crigger (LTC, Ret.) who is a mutual friend.

As their website makes clear:

In October of 2008, members of the United States Military Academy’s Class of 1998 stood together at their Ten Year Reunion, reminiscing about their first decade as members of “The Long Gray Line”. Their lives had changed inextricably in that short span – they had left West Point in May of 1998 with the class motto “Duty Will Not Wait”, perhaps not fully realizing what the profession of arms would mean to them. Ten short years later, these classmates had deployed all over the world – to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, and a few other little places most folks will never hear about. Many had seen combat. All had lost friends and classmates in the process. As such, the class adopted a new motto for their reunion – “Duty Did Not Wait”.

As they paid tribute to their fallen brethren at the reunion, a small group of classmates decided that Duty did not end with military service. They determined that the best possible tribute to those who had paid the ultimate price for our nation was to ensure the well-being of their families. The plan for a Memorial Scholarship was born. Two years later, the West Point Class of 1998 Memorial Scholarship Fund, Inc. (“The 98 Fund”) was fully incorporated in the State of Virginia and the fund is officially recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization.

I don't know how many people showed up to enjoy the tailgating with us, but it had to be at least 200.  And that number might have been much higher had it not been blisteringly cold and windy.  I atleast had a jacket, which I wore later in the day when it got even colder, but some of our guests, the lovely ladies from the Baltimore Ravens Cheerleading staff looked like they might freeze right to the spot.
 
 

That is me on the far right, with the ridiculous moustache (we had a contest) and the cup was....coffee.  The guy to my right is my battle buddy from Afghanistan who is also a Ravens Cheerleader (yeah, they have male cheerleaders in Baltimore).  And the rather odd looking chap in the green is another guy from our platoon in Afghanistan, who when not working as my DC Photographer is a fellow blogger going under the name "The Sniper."  And the Young Ladies, cheerleaders for between 2-5 years were absolutely wonderful for coming out.  They volunteered their time to come out and show their appreciation for this effort.

 

I'm not sure how muchmoney the 98 Fund managed to raise yet, but I know it was fairly significant.  I do know that those present did do an admirable job of assaulting the 5 kegs of beer and the 2,000 chicken wings. 

The lowlight of the day had to be The Sniper and I taking on Kelly Crigger in cornhole, a game not much played in New England where I grew up.  I was more of a Bocce guy.  But, just to add an interesting elements, we set the things up on either side of the tent, and thus lobbed the bag over it, more like incoming artillery than the traditional cornhole games.  When i hit a kid with the bag, I decided it was time to take up chicken wing eating instead.

As the game approached, we watched the helicopters that escorted the President roll in and peel off until it was only the President.  I saw later on TV that he split the game between the Army and Navy sides, which seems very appropriate.  And just as the game was about to begin, we got a fly over by both the planes and the helicopters.  It seems right that as Sniper took a picture of the helicopters going over, he somehow caught a Dove in the picture.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.