Bobby A Reed Harold L Barger Ralph M Gaither Stranded students rescued by Brown County cooperation 4-H Teen Ambassador Dunning attends SHOT Show Veterans Service Commission invites veterans to seek help with benefits Unemployment rate rises in Brown County Pick a Lollipop, help a dog A season to remember G-Men hit the field for first baseball scrimmage Eastern’s Rigdon, Purdy earn AP SE District Div. III honors New blocking, kicking rules address risk minimization in high school football Judy A Schneider James M Darnell Lawanda R Truesdell Paul E Grisham Arrelous R Rowland Dennis E Stivers David M Daniels Fayetteville man is charged with child porn April 1st Grand Opening for Jacob’s Ladder Resale Boutique in Georgetown Talent Show auditions at Gaslight Theatre Nine indicted by county grand jury Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall visit coming next May to BC Fairgrounds In it to win it! Bronco wrestlers end season on successful note Eastern’s Hopkins finishes 5th in long jump at OATCCC State Indoor Track and Field Meet SBAAC awards academic all-stars, winning teams Marvin D Atkin Beverly S Flatt Jessie M Sanders Leroy Deck Sr Jody A Towler Sherman E Young Kenneth C Burton Varnau’s face second defamation suit Attorney General to visit Georgetown schools Clermont County GOP hosts Wenstrup, DeWine at dinner Fatal car crash in Adams County BC Chamber welcomes new Cricket Wireless store to Mt. Orab Aberdeen Council approves 2017 budget Royce K Zimmerman Lady Warriors advance to Elite 8 SBAAC awards boys basketball all-stars SBAAC girls basketball all-stars take home awards SHAC Winter Sports Awards Banquet set for March 12 Altman claims 170-pound district title Sirkka L Buller Arthur C Schneider Lowell G Neal Virginia M Schirmer Connie S Darling Harold L Purdin Terry E Frye Lucille Schumacher Lady Warriors roll to district finals Broncos take care of business to claim sectional crown G-Men upset MVCA to earn berth sectional finals WBHS JROTC Rifle Team competes at Camp Perry Lady Rockets finish 12-12 Season reaches end for Rockets Eugene D Ring Two indicted on major drug charges Two charged with home invasion Cincinnati airport expanding services, lowering prices in effort to compete Two sentenced in common pleas court Georgetown man hurt in car crash Robert G Miller Linda M Howland Robert E McKinney Mildred J Hodges Farrel L Amiott Patricia Brown Rick L Dye Mary E Nagel Betty Ratliff Broncos claim SBAAC wrestling title Broncos pull ahead for win over G-Men in SBAAC Tourney Ripley boys wrap up regular season with win at Lynchburg Eastern girls are sectional champs Anderson pleads not guilty to battery charge Some county offices to change locations Fayetteville prepares for Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall HealthSource hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Five sentenced in Brown County Common Pleas Court June Howser Marguerite A Fender Timothy D Harris Jay R Purdy Robin S Godwin Marc A Wachter Chester W Eyre Warriors blast past the G-Men, 61-40 Rockets performing well heading into post-season tournament play Lady Warriors bring home the Gold with perfect 13-0 finish in SHAC Western Brown Junior High wrestling team wraps up successful season Rockets fall victim to ‘Pack’ attack Broncos suffer heartbreaking loss to Mentor Lake Catholic in state quarterfinals Adult Education Center coming to county ‘Senior Playground’ moving forward at Georgetown park

Several sports stars have answered the call

As Americans all around the country honor the veterans who have served and kept the country free, it’s becoming easier and easier to notice just how intertwined the military and sports have in fact become.

Obviously, the National Anthem is played before a vast majority of competitions at levels ranging from pee-wee all the way to the pros. There are pre-game flyovers at major sporting events, like the Super Bowl and Major League Baseball’s All-Star game, and NASCAR is one prominent sporting organization who routinely invites service academies to sing the national anthem.

Patriotism is not limited to the giant sporting leagues, however. Minor league baseball teams honor veterans, either on-field or over a public address announcement. High schools across the country host Veteran’s Day assemblies in the gymnasium.

Yet, sometimes, it even goes a step further than that. Look no further than Cincinnati’s own Roger Staubach.

Staubach was born in the Queen City and attended high school at Purcell Marian. Upon graduation, he enrolled at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico, but he only stayed one season.

In 1961, Staubach joined the Naval Academy. He did not start for the Midshipmen immediately, and his first taste of gridiron action was, shall we say, less than successful. He went 0-f0r-2 on his passing attempts and was sacked twice, losing 24 yards.

One week later, however, he came into the game against Cornell and led his squad to six touchdowns, three of which he himself was responsible for, and his team blew out the Big Red 41-0.

That sparked a career that would see Staubach throw for over 3,500 yards and, eventually, an induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Before any of that, however, Staubach had an even bigger task ahead of him. During his junior year, he was declared color blind, which necessitated his joining of the Supply Corps. Upon graduation, instead of requesting an assignment in the United States, Staubach chose to go to Vietnam, where he served one year at the Chu Lai base.

While he was on duty, Staubach was drafted by both the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Draft and the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League Draft. He would join the Cowboys in 1969 and, after sitting out the first year or so of his career, led the Cowboys to 10 straight wins, including a Super Bowl title.

There are so many stories like Staubach, so many athletes who have either delayed or, in the case of Ted Williams, paused professional careers to join the military. Williams won the Triple Crown in 1942, then joined the Navy in 1943. He served three years before being recalled at 33 years old to fight in the Korean War, where he flew 39 combat missions.

Not every example has to be from the early 20th century, however. Look no further than former Arizona Cardinal safety Pat Tillman. Tillman enlisted in 2002 and was killed in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan two years later.

Former Denver Broncos running back Mike Anderson served four years in the Marines after high school before a junior college coach noticed him and convinced him to attend the school. After two years, Anderson headed to Utah where he would set the career record for rushing yards per game (102.4). In 2000, he earned the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award after gaining 1,487 yards.

There are many, many more examples of athletes who stepped up exactly like the four above players did. Talking about all of them would fill up more newspapers than I’d even want to think about.

But their stories are made famous by what they did on the field, and there are many more people who make the decision to enroll in any of the branches of military, yet those people don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Maybe it’s because they would rather not relive it, maybe it’s because they just aren’t the kind of people who go out looking for attention.

So, as we honor the men and woman who have answered the call, regardless of their athletic prowess, there is only one thing left to do: Thank a veteran.

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Garth Shanklin

Sports Editor

Reach Garth Shanklin at 937-378-6161 or follow him on Twitter @GNDShanklin. You may also send any email inquiries to gshanklin@civitasmedia.com.

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