Football patches link to grateful emotions

Two years ago the football team became involved with Ft. Hood and its soldiers in a way that would make a lasting impression. Gen. John Hammond came to campus and spoke to the team and a few days later was deployed to Iraq.

With him, he took a UMHB football jersey the team had given him as a thank-you gift for speaking. While at the base in Iraq, he hung the jersey in a doorway as a symbol of freedom, letting the soldiers know what they were fighting for.

When Hammond returned from war, he brought the jersey and gave it back to the Crusader football program as a thank you token.

Coach Pete Fredenburg decided to dedicate the jersey in a similar way

The players of the Crusader football team wear this patch in honor of the 15th Brigade that deployed to Iraq during the summer months. Photo by Matthew Peterson

The players of the Crusader football team wear this patch in honor of the 15th Brigade that deployed to Iraq during the summer months. Photo by Matthew Peterson

Hammond had done while overseas.

“We have hung the jersey up as a memorial for the sacrifices the soldiers have made and what he did,” Fredenburg said.

Along with the jersey hanging in Andersen Field House, the football team this season is wearing a patch on the back of their jerseys and their helmets signifying the 15th Brigade, which just deployed to Iraq from Ft. Hood.

Junior wide receiver Brian Scott is honored that he was able to listen to the speech given two years ago and that he gets to play while wearing the patch.

“Every time I look at the patch either on my jersey or helmet, that overseas someone is fighting for me.

I hope that the team is just as honored as I am, and we really appreciate what Gen. Hammond has done for us and this country, and it will not go unrecognized,” Scott said.

Another player who is grateful for wearing the patch is running back senior Bryson Tucker. He understands the dangers and hardships the soldiers face in war and is thankful for doing something to honor them.

“It also gives motivation and wakes me up and makes me realize no matter how hard or tough it gets on my battlefield that there is someone on a real battle-field fighting for our lives so there is no giving in,” Tucker said.

UMHB crushed the Southern Oregon Raiders this past weekend for the Homecoming game. One of the leading players of the game was Tucker who rushed his career high at 218 rushing yards.

Tucker said,“It shows respect to the guys over there that sacrifice their lives so that we can live a normal life.”

Author: Stacy Fannin

Stacy Fannin is a junior mass communication/journalism major and is the sports editor for the newspaper. She is from Cedar Park, Texas, where she lives with her mom, little sister and adorable cat, Dusty. Stacy enjoys being with family and friends. Some of her favorite things are chocolate, Dr. Pepper, the Green Bay Packers, Texas and England. Stacy enjoys eating junk food, being around family and friends (and her cat), and talking on her phone named Jeffrey. She is a huge fan of Dr. Pepper, chocolate and of course, the Green Bay Packers!

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