By Lt. Col. Jeff AllenNovember 19, 2012
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Nov. 18, 2012)--Soldiers from Fort Leavenworth, 50 in all, shared the unique opportunity of reenlisting on the playing field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City before the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs military appreciation game, today.
Lt. Gen. David Perkins, commander, Combined Arms Center, officiated the re-enlistment ceremony, which took place on the center of the field before the game began. Dressed in their Army Service Uniforms, the Soldiers all took the oath of enlistment in front of the attending crowd in a demonstration of commitment to the nation, and voluntary sacrifice.
"I think this will be memorable for a couple reasons," said Perkins. "One, to come here to a NFL game for a unique event, and two, they get to see other Americans show their appreciation for the sacrifice they're making."
The Kansas City Chiefs hold a Military Appreciation Game every year in order to honor the service of the area's many Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard personnel. Throughout the game video of the ceremony was displayed on the stadium's giant video monitors above each end zone, along with images of service members enjoying the game from the stands.
According to the Chiefs' web page, the military appreciation game is designed to, "salute the dedication, devotion and bravery of all those who have served or are currently serving in our Armed Forces."
In addition to the reenlistment ceremony, the Chiefs honored the troops in other ways during the game. The pregame "war chant" was led by retired Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, a native of Kansas City and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
During the halftime show, Ron Gutierrez, a former Soldier, sang a heart-felt rendition of "America the Beautiful," as a video tribute to area service members who have recently lost their lives overseas was shown on the video monitors. The University of Missouri also contributed to the festivities with the Mizzou Marching Band performing rousing renditions of each of the services' official songs on the field.
"We appreciate the Chiefs honoring all those who serve and letting our young Soldiers re-enlist here today to continue to serve our nation," Perkins said.