Reunions Highlight BCS Title Game's Halftime
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Few halftime events can rival the emotional tenor of football games, especially ones for the national championship. But a reunion of servicemen and their families stirred the sellout crowd in Glendale, Ariz. on Monday night.
At halftime of the Tostitos BCS national championship game between Auburn and Oregon, several troops serving in Iraq joined their families in a surprise reunion while their loved ones were being honored on the field for their sacrifice and dedication.
The presence of the soldiers came on the heels of a video presentation that showed the men playing in a previously-recorded game against collegiate football legends called the Connect to Home Bowl that took place last month in Southwest Asia.
Playing alongside some of their childhood idols like Jim Kelly, LaVar Arrington and Jevon Kearse had to have been a thrill, but from the looks on their faces when they walked onto the field, the best feelings came from being home with their families. Here are some of the servicemen that enjoyed the halftime surprise:
SSG Alton Day, U.S. Army, from Elizabeth, N.C.: His wife Gwendalyn (Gwen), sons Alton, Jr. (age 14) and Aydan (2), and daughters Alexandria (12) and Alannah (5)
SPC Danyul Davis, U.S. Army, Houston: His wife Jalexus, son Jai (1) and brothers Jeremy Michael Powell and Guy DeJohn Jackson
Sgt. Louis Davis, U.S. Army, Ft. Bragg, N.C.: His wife Stephanie, daughter Zaiyah (3), mom Linda S. David and sister Simona R. Green
PO1 Terry Eady, U.S. Navy, Ocilla, Ga.: His daughter TeOndra (9), son Terrvon (12) and cousin Henry Leroy Fisher, Jr.
USO president Sloan Gibson believes that events such as this reinforce the USO's goal of lifting the spirits of America's troops and their families.
"The USO focuses on bringing our troops a touch of home when they are deployed, but actually coming home to their loved ones is what they look forward to the most," said Sloan Gibson, USO president. "We are a proud partner with Tostitos to make these very special reunions possible."
And Frito-Lay's Tostitos brand enjoys being a part of what the USO pursues on a daily bais.
"The joy people experience when they are reunited with those they care about is universal," said Justin Lambeth, vice president of marketing, Tostitos. "And, it's one of the many reasons Tostitos is so excited to facilitate a series of reunions and homecomings through Reunite America. It was incredible seeing our first big reunion happen at the Tostitos BCS National Championship with help from the USO. Now, we look forward to giving others a chance to spend meaningful time together through this program."
Reunite America is a program launched to foster consumer-requested reunions of all kinds nationwide during 2011. Viewed at www.facebook.com/Tostitos, people can witness reunions of troops and their families, old friends who have lost touch with one another and even loves that are set to rekindle. And what better kickoff than having some of America's finest men finding their way back into the arms of the ones they love most.
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