Fort Hood Soldiers invited to NFL playoff game

Story by Spc. Fabian Ortega
13th SC(E) Public Affairs Office
Photos by Spc. Fabian Ortega

FORT HOOD, Texas — 205 Fort Hood Soldiers were invited to watch a National Football League playoff game at Texas Stadium in Irving, Tx between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants Jan. 13.

Soldiers, from various units across the installation, were asked to participate in pregame and half time show presentations that featured Brian McKnight, a Rhythm and Blues recording artist, Neil McCoy, a Country music recording artist, and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

“We went to go see a Dallas Cowboys playoff game,” said Cpt. Gregory Royse, officer in charge of the event and 1st Calvary Division Soldier. “It was reward for Soldiers returning from Iraq,” Royse said. “Approximately 200 Soldiers participated in the Dallas Cowboys halftime show with Neil McCoy and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.”

Soldiers were transported from Fort Hood on chartered buses provided by the United Services Organization.

Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division, 1st Calvary Division, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), 89th Military Police Brigade, 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment and 36th Engineer Bde., made the trip to Texas Stadium.

“It was a good opportunity for Soldiers to see a good playoff game,” said Spc. Bounthanh Luanevinakho,  a Soldier with the 410th MP Company, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Bde. “I’m a New York Giants fan because I’m from south New York and it was fun to see the Giants win,” Luanevinakho said.

Luanevinakho also received a keep sake from one of the Giants players.

“Amani Toomer gave me his glove after the game,” said Luanevinakho.

Toomer is the New York Giants starting wide receiver and scored two touchdowns in the game.

Luanevinakho said he appreciated the fans at Texas Stadium.

“I was on the field for the half time show and it was great, we got a lot of support and thank you’s from the fans there,” he said.

Although the Dallas Cowboys lost the game, some Cowboys fans managed to have an enjoyable time and appreciated a competitive game.

“It was awesome and I enjoyed it,” said Spc. Eric Cummings, a Bravo Company, 1/12 , 1st Cavalry Division Soldier and Cowboys fan. “It was a new experience going to a live NFL football game and I thought the game was great. I was certain the Cowboys would win, the game was close but the Giants won,” said Cummings.

Cummings said the experience was made much more enjoyable because of the people and fans at Texas Stadium.

“People loved us and they enjoyed us during the halftime show,” he said. “It was good to see the people clapping and showing their appreciation for us,” said Cummings.

The Dallas Cowboys organization provided Soldiers with seats in the lower end zone at the player entry and exit tunnels and ticket vouchers for two hot dogs and a Dallas Cowboys playoff souvenir cup.

“We had a really good time and they showed us a really good time,” said Royse. “The organization really took care of us even though the wrong team won,” said Royse, a long time Cowboys fan. “I absolutely think the Soldiers enjoyed themselves at the game; it was a big morale booster for everybody,” he said.

The organization is a class act, and there nothing but good things to say about the entire organization, Royse said.


Color Guard at NFL Game
Color Guard at NFL Game

Calvin Hill autographs a t-shirt for MSG Coe
Calvin Hill autographs a t-shirt for MSG Coe

Soldiers participate in half-time show
Soldiers participate in half-time show