Editor's note: The story was written by Sgt. Matthew Marsilia, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office.
DENVER — 4th Infantry Division Soldiers and members from the armed forces attended the Denver Broncos “Salute to Service” game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Nov. 20, 2022.
The event hosted service members from the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Space Force.
The daylong event started inside the stadium with a brunch provided by the Denver Broncos staff. Upon completion of the meal, multiple guest speakers spoke to the attendees. One speaker stood out in particular, the first African American secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
Rice, a partial owner of the Denver Broncos, showed her appreciation for the service members.
“It’s an honor and a pleasure to have you all here today,” said Rice. “We understand the sacrifices you all make to protect the American people day in and day out. We thank your Families' sacrifices as well; they are a huge part of your success. We are grateful to have you on the front lines of freedom.”
She then presented Maj. Gen. David M. Hodne, commanding general, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, with an honorary game ball engraved with the 4ID insignia.
Once the pregame ceremony finished, it was time for the Denver Broncos to take the field.
It was also time for Ivy Soldiers to take the field.
Service members from all branches ran out of the tunnel waving the American flag beside Denver Broncos players, igniting the crowd with excitement and pride.
“This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me,” said Cpl. Fagava'a Sea, a combat engineer assigned to 52nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div. “Being out on the field with the players, absorbing the atmosphere, and representing the division was an all-encompassing experience.”
Lastly, emerging from the tunnel through a smoke screen was Hodne alongside starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Russell Wilson. Cheers and applause echoed through the stadium as they closed the final yards to midfield.
With just a few minutes before kickoff, Ivy Soldiers joined other service members in unfurling a U.S. flag on the field during the national anthem.
The “Salute to Service” game saw the Las Vegas Raiders defeat the Denver Broncos 22-16 in an overtime thriller bringing the Broncos' record this season to 3-8.