Belton, Texas – On Saturday, November 9, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor hosted its annual Military Appreciation Day. More than 280 soldiers, veterans, and their family members attended the final home game of the Cru football program's regular season.
Members of the military and their families enjoyed free admission, hot dogs, and drinks. Soldiers were also honored throughout the game. Lieutenant Colonel Jay West, 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade Chaplain, gave the invocation. Private First Class Zachery Johnson, who serves as the brigade’s religious affairs specialist, offered a rousing rendition of the national anthem. Colonel Patrick Disney, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade, conducted the pre-game coin toss using his command coin. Disney was joined by honorary coach Hugh Shine, a retired Army Colonel, who serves as a member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing the 55th District.
During halftime, the Blackshirt Cru Spirit Band performed a medley of anthems from each branch of the American armed services. Afterward, more than twenty soldiers in the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade marched onto the field for a mass re-enlistment ceremony, during which they renewed their commitments to the Army. The Wagonmasters were joined by a group of future soldiers from the Central Texas area who officially enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard.
The Crusaders rolled to a 41-3 victory over the Bulldogs of Texas Lutheran. The win guarantees the Cru at least a share of the American Southwest Conference championship and a place in the playoffs. Next week, the team will on the road, taking on the Lobos of Sul Ross in the final game of the Cru’s regular season.