By Sgt. Ricardo Branch, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public AffairsFebruary 10, 2009
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- Soldiers from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command were given a distinct honor this year to serve on the Joint Service Color Guard for the National Football League 2009 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
Two Army noncommissioned officers and one Soldier comprised a part of the Joint Service Color Guard, which were responsible for rendering honors for the start of the Pro Bowl.
Sgt. Marlon Nieves-Reyes, 8th TSC surgeon cell, said the experience of stepping onto the field was one that he would treasure; from seeing professional football players on television to walking the grass that they play on.
"It was exciting, he said. "It was my first football game that I have ever been a part of and it was overwhelming."
During the pregame ceremonies, the Joint Service Color Guard came out and rendered honors before the game while American Idol superstar David Archuleta sang the National Anthem.
Joint Service Color Guard noncommissioned officer in charge, Staff Sgt. Richard Yniguez, 8th TSC operations NCO, used his experience as a member of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club to train the members of the color guard.
"Attention to detail is extremely important," Yniguez said. "We did an initial inspection of the colors, the harness, did some height checks and then rehearsed several times. Just like pre-combat checks before going on a combat patrol, as the NCO in charge, I have to make sure everything is right."
8th TSC Soldier, Spc. Stephen Higdon, also participated in the Joint Service Color Guard as the Army Rifle Bearer.
In his first experience as a member of a Joint Service Color Guard, Nieves-Reyes worked alongside fellow servicemembers from all the Armed Forces.
"It was nice to work with the Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard," he said. "Events like the Pro Bowl are great because they bring all the different uniforms together."
Cpl. Donald Simmons Jr., a Marine from Kaneohe Bay, described the event as one of those rare opportunities that bring real life heroes together with the ones they would cheer for on television. "It was exciting just getting to meet the NFL players," he said. "(Here were) the players you idolized growing up, right in front of you."
After nearly 30-years in Hawaii, the 2010 Pro Bowl will be held in Miami next year.