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Football venue highlights Army

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COMMAND MESSAGE

By LT. GEN. BENJAMIN FREAKLEY
Fort Knox CommanderTwo of America’s most revered and popular institutions, football and the Army, join forces Saturday for a traditional display of teamwork, partnership, and athletic ability.

The 11th annual U.S. Army All- American Bowl kicks off at 1 p.m. on NBC Saturday from San Antonio. The game pits 90 high school All Star players from across the U.S. in what most football experts regard as the best national All Star game for future college stars.
The game serves as the national television debut for future NFL stars. Adrian Peterson, Reggie Bush,
Mark Sanchez, Vince Young, and Ndamukong Suh all made their network television playing debuts as U.S. Army All Americans.
U.S. Army Accessions Command sponsors the game with more than a dozen national business and organization partners. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl highlights and promotes the common elements of successful teamwork, exceptional performance by young people, and achievement at the highest level.
The national broadcast is an exceptional venue to highlight opportunities in America’s Army and the nation’s top high school football talent. A partnership between the Nation’s most popular sport and its Army, the game sends a powerful message to the American public that working hard together accomplishes the highest goals.
U.S. Army Accessions Command provides the strength of the finest fighting force in the world. In doing so, Accessions Command provides an enormous range of opportunity to Americans who are peers of the players in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Soldiers and football players share and demonstrate the necessary qualities for lifelong success: strength, dedication, leadership, and teamwork.
The game is associated with a week of activities in San Antonio that reinforces vital relationships between Army and civilian leadership, builds bonds between star athletes and Soldiers from their hometowns, and provides a connection to a national television audience with our Army. One hundred high school musicians will be  present, making up the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Band that performs at halftime.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is not the only choice these spectacular football players have to play in a nationally televised all-star game. Another game is staged the same week and sponsored by the biggest name in sports television. It is to these players’ and coaches’ credit that they choose the Army game. In personal conversations and media interviews, these young stars and their mentors extol the virtues of Army service, talk about their experiences with our Soldiers, and represent their schools and the Army superbly.
Last year’s West coach, Jim Streety of San Antonio’s Madison High School, said that without the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, these athletes would never get an appreciation of the Army and its Soldiers. University of California linebacker Nick Forbes, an East player for last year’s game, said there was never a doubt that he would play in the Army game. He felt it meant more and he was happy to promote the Army and felt good about the whole experience.
These are just two of the numerous positive testimonials we get from the 90 players, the coaching staffs, and the 100 U.S. Army All-American Bowl band members each year. It’s gratifying and rewarding that this game provides such a rich, worthwhile experience for all the participants.
Keeping America connected to its Army is on ongoing, important effort for every Soldier. Events of the scope and scale of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl go a long way towards supporting that outreach goal.
Strength Starts Here!
Army Strong!