John D Marks Fourteen indicted by Brown County Grand Jury Commissioners donate to task force Voters return Worley to the bench Georgetown Police Department welcomes new officers Ruby A Ratliff Donna J Moore Stella M Glasscock Ellen L Gelter Alverda T Guillermin Justin N Beach EHS dedicates ‘Kiser Court’ SBAAC awards First Team football all-stars, winning teams Sizer earns SBAAC American Division Volleyball Player of Year honors for 3rd straight year Broncos to host Blue Jays for OHSAA ‘Jimmy Young’ Foundation Game, Nov. 17 Vern W Kidd Jr Brown County Election Results – 2017 Michael D Hines Raymond W Napier Leslie E Boyle Gary L Barber Meth makes a comeback The bomber crash of 1944 4-H holds ‘shootout’ with BCSO County jobless rate falls Russell K Wolfer SHAC recognizes volleyball all-stars SHAC cross country all-stars take home awards Eastern girls finish runner-up in SHAC golf standings Week 10 football roundup Kathleen J Bright Sister Marjean Clement Veterans Service Office Moves G’town FFA has great fair Bald Eagles spotted 2017 Celebration of Lights being planned Eight indicted by grand jury Carlos L Beck Georgetown XC teams qualify for regional championship meet Warriors advance to Div. II Regional Meet Lady Rockets reach end to successful volleyball season Week nine football roundup Lady Warriors regional bound Amy J Caudill Bertha Lindsey Bobby S Conley Body found in ditch, investigation underway Former Aberdeen Fiscal Officer pleads guilty Keeping kids safe on the school bus Mary E Hahn Gary R Cornette Week 8 football roundup Notable soccer season reaches end for G-Men Lady Broncos are SBAAC American Division XC champs SHAC XC title goes to Lady Warriors Arthur Smith Eugene M Jennings Jr Billy R Kilgore Sr Carol D Roberts Thelma L Gray Sheriff Ellis meets President Trump Quarter Auction to pay for fire engine restoration Upcoming Quarter Raffle, Oct. 14 to benefit PRC Man found dead in ditch Rev Alvin B Woodruff Jackson L Russell Lady Broncos bring home 11th SBAAC American Division title in 12 years Lady Rockets wrap up regular season Warriors rally for win Broncos make it two in a row Helen L Whalen Veterans saluted at the Brown County Fair Fayetteville cancels school after threat Tommy J Stamper Sue Day Broncos move closer to SBAAC American Division title Lady G-Men working hard, showing improvement Sports complex soon to open in Mt. Orab Week 6 football roundup H Ray Warnock Jennings faces multiple sex offenses Georgetown nears water system completion Bible Baptist Barbeque brings big crowd Linda Taylor Rene Sizemore-Dahlheimer Eugene Snider Eric Workman Gregory Terry Edith M Moore Eileen Womacks Michael C Jennings Janice K Brunner Cheer squads compete at ‘Little State Fair’ Truck, tractor pulls draw a crowd at Brown County Fair Week 5 football roundup Lady Broncos rise to 11-6 with win over Batavia Broncos buck Clinton-Massie, Goshen James H Boyd Warren A Stanley Jane R Ernst

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.

http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_3b2f53d.jpg

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2016 News Democrat