Browsing: Afghanistan

While the rest of the hockey world focused on the Sochi Olympics earlier this year, a group of NHL players who weren’t after medals were instead at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, staying sharp with the help of a special guest from the Special Forces. Michael Cathcart, who went by “Sgt. Mike” with his training partners from the Carolina Hurricanes, skated alongside the pros for 45 minutes at Cleland Ice Rink in February, led them in a team stretch, even notched a goal and an assist during the practice, according to a write-up on the team’s official website. “It was great…

I’m always a sucker for stories that come from my home town, Boston, but this one is pretty neat. Andrew Shaughnessy is a 20-year-old kid in the Army for a couple years now. For a month after his recent deployment to Afghanistan, Shaughnessy performed more service, this time as a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater, South Boston High School. Like many other inner city programs, Southie High’s football budget is minimal: low four figures, at best, and not allowing for many optional purchases, other than mandatory helmet reconditioning. Shaughnessy saw this, and he opened up his wallet: he…

The importance of the Army-Navy football rivalry never needs stressed to those on the field and is rarely questioned by those off it. But on Dec. 1, 2001, in Philadelphia, less than three months after terrorists attacked U.S. soil and less than two months after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, the game’s symbolic link to service and sacrifice resonated in a very real, very immediate way. In the postgame photo above, Army’s Brent Dial (21) and Navy’s Ed Malinowski (10), Chris Wade (43) and Chandler Sims (6) stand united. Dial shows none of the happiness one would expect after a 26-17…

KAJAKI, Afghanistan – Second Lt. Jeff Lenar is a long way from the bright lights of college football at the U.S. Naval Academy, and it took serious discipline to get there. The infantry officer with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, leads 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, overseeing Marines in combat who patrol near the landmark Kajaki Dam in Helmand province. Since deploying early this year, he has led his platoon in raids into Taliban-held area and overseen surveillance missions used to collect information about insurgents. His trip there was complicated: to join his fellow Marines, Lenar shed dozens of pounds from his…

Part March Madness. Part martial arts. Part bragging rights. Mostly, a morale boost for Marines in theater. Marines assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, took out some war-zone stress and showed off their martial arts skills the last two Saturdays, competing in a ground-fighting tournament that organizers hope will build camaraderie within the unit. Check out a full write-up and some more pics, all by Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez, here. According to the piece, the combatives exercises are just a part of the pseudo-Olympics set up by CLB 1. They’ve already had football, soccer and volleyball…

I’ve come across a handful of thoughtful, powerful stories related to the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack that have ties to the military sports world. From a teenager describing how his life was turned upside down after his father, a former West Point football player, was wounded in Iraq, to the memories of the emotional 2001 Army-Navy game in Philadelphia, these four reflections are worth your time: Today’s youths in military families shoulder the horrors of 9/11 (Petula Dvorak, The Washington Post) “There aren’t too many 17-year-olds who can claim to have a “mom sense.” But Jaelen, a…

[HTML1] Congrats to Staff Sgt. Michael Kacer, an Army National Guardsman who lost his left arm in Afghanistan, who’s getting plenty of attention after catching a foul ball with his hat at a New York Yankees game on Friday. Read this story to learn more about Kacer’s remarkable story, and watch the SportCenter interview below to hear it in his own words. My favorite part of this whole episode might be Kacer immediately giving the ball to his nephew. This soldier is a class act all-around. [HTML2] Note to grown men who still bring gloves to MLB games: If this…

Our Gannett brothers over at the Louisville Courier-Journal produced the video below and wrote a story last week about the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team. The 15-member team is exactly what it sounds like: Veterans who’ve lost a limb in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars who’ve come together to play a game they love and show what wounded troops are capable of.

Sgt. Dominic Lawrence, a Human Resources NCO from FOB Shank (left) and Frances Sanchez, a Field Rep for University of Maryland University College (right), react as Virginia Commonwealth University scores a basket in the first half of their Final Four game against Butler on April 3 at Forward Operating Base Sharana, Afghanistan. Frances, a VCU grad, set up a viewing party for anyone interested in watching.  Turnout was low, which was understandable as watching the game live meant being up at 2:30 AM.  Sadly for Frances, VCU’s Cinderella ride came to an end with their loss to Butler.

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