Basketball stars dine, train with Warrior Bde.; express gratitude for service

| November 4, 2011 | 0 Comments

Sgt. Robert M. England
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

25th ID

25th ID

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, “Warriors,” 25th Infantry Division, enjoyed the company of some distinguished visitors at the Warrior Inn Dining Facility, here, Oct. 24.

Nine players from the National Basketball Association visited the DFAC to eat lunch and visit with 2nd BCT Warriors as part of a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment’s “Hoops For Troops” tour.

After lunch, the players moved to Area X, here, so they could see two Stryker vehicles belonging to 1st Battalion, 27th Inf. Regiment, “Wolfhounds,” 2nd BCT.

Mike Miller, a shooting guard for the Miami Heat, recognized the commitment to duty that service members embody on a daily basis.

“It’s an honor for us to be out here with the troops,” Miller said. “We’re blessed in a lot of ways, and none of it would be possible without you guys and what you do for us.”

Miller said normally during this time of year, players would be in professional preseason training camps. However, because of the lockout, players had some spare time that they wanted to use in a different way.

“It was something unique that we wanted to do,” Miller said. “Our agents put it together. Usually, we’d be playing in a training camp right now, getting ready for the season, but the circumstances at the time gave us the opportunity to come out here and spend some time with the troops.”

The Wolfhounds briefed the athletes about the maintenance and operation of Stryker vehicles and their constant training to ensure mission readiness. Soldiers then helped the players don protective vests and combat helmets for a ride around Area X, so they could experience riding in a combat vehicle.

As the recipient of the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award for the 2010-2011 season, Derek Rose, a point guard for the Chicago Bulls, said he understands the value of constant repetition and training, as it is something he does daily.

Sgt. Matthew Riddle, noncommissioned officer in charge of the personal security detachment for 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., said: “We were showing the NBA players from the USO tour inside the Strykers and what our duties are to get the vehicles ready before we go out on missions. We explained some of the different components of the Stryker vehicle and the principles of our job, as we performed them this past deployment to Iraq.”

Miller expressed his gratitude to the Soldiers for their time and service.

“We’ve come away from this with so much more respect,” Miller said. “When we got to be hands-on and really see a small part of what it is you do, our respect level has gone through the roof.”

“It’s pretty cool because they took time out of their busy schedules,” Riddle said. “For them to come here and let us teach them what we know about our job, it says a lot about them.”

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