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Wranglers and Crusaders strengthen bonds at UMHB football game

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BELTON — On Veterans Day weekend, about 1,000 soldiers from the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command, were invited to participate in the festivities of a Military Appreciation Day football game at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

“Our military give to us every single day of the year and we are excited about having the opportunity to do just a little thing back for them,” said Paula Tanner, vice president of UMHB communications and special projects.

Some members of the “Wrangler” Brigade arrived at the stadium more than two hours early to witness a motivational speech for the UMHB CRU players by Lt. Col. Mike Moore, the brigade support operations officer. Moore was invited to address the players before they suited up for the game, and focused on three main subjects that are foundations for the Wrangler Brigade and the CRU football team.

“I want to focus on three words that we use every day at the Wrangler Brigade,” Moore said. “Words that are very similar to the ones you have above your door: trust, discipline, and commitment.”

Moore called on players to describe what the three words meant, and told senior players that the freshmen will be looking to them for inspiration on every down of the game.

The brigade’s commander, Col. Timothy D. Luedecking, also thanked the players for honoring his unit by wearing the unit’s patch on the backs of their uniforms. He urged each player to give their all on the field, and to play for the men and women who are deployed oversees. Luedecking then presented the team’s coaches with unit caps and requested they wear them on the sidelines.

As the Wrangler soldiers and their families filtered into the stadium for the game, they were given coupons for free hotdogs and drinks.

Before kick-off, Luedecking, and the brigade’s Command Sgt. Maj. Alton. W. Haney took to the center of the field and presented an engraved football to CRU Head Coach Pete Fredenburg in appreciation for inviting their soldiers to the game.

Also at the center of the field, the referees and team captains were joined by Staff Sgt. Veronica Stevens, the Wrangler Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, for the coin toss.

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