By Mollie Miller

Killeen Daily Herald

FORT HOOD Heroes of the National Leagues top team met up with heroes of Fort Hoods First Team in the training area around this Central Texas post Tuesday to offer mutual support and appreciation.

Trading war stories involving home runs and strikeouts, improvised explosive devices and small-arms fire, members of the Houston Astros built a bond with the soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Di-visions 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Ar-tillery over meals ready to eat and steaming ammunition.

Starting with a wild ride in two of the divisions UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, Astros players Brandon Backe, Chris Burke, Mike Gallo and Luke Scott, along with members of the Astros staff, got a taste of Army field life through a variety of presentations and hands-on experiences.

Crouching in the high grass beside a camouflage-clad soldier, Astros outfielder Luke Scott used the visit to learn more about something he dreamed about doing as a little boy.

If I didnt make it as a baseball player, I was thinking about joining the military as a sniper, Scott said.

Scott said he was glad to be able to come out and support Americas troops.

These guys are willing to lay down their lives for what they believe in, for their country, for democracy and to try to give people a better life, he said. This is a great sacrifice and it is very honorable. We are very blessed in this country to have these (soldiers).

The soldiers of 2-82 Field Artillery were equally appreciative of the players willingness to come out and learn about them. We want (the players) to know we are thankful for their support and we appreciate what they do for us, said 2-82 battalion commander Lt. Col. John Kolessar.

Morale today is sky high.

Red Sox fan Sgt. 1st Class Jamie Favreau said that although the players werent from his team, it was a wonderful treat to have the Astros come out to their field exercise.

Its nice to see that they are taking time out of their life to come down and see what we do, said Favreau. These guys are heroes to a lot of us and to have them come down to where we work and watch us do what we do is (amazing).

The feeling was mutual on the baseball side of the house, according to Astros spokesman Todd Fedewa.

Everybody thinks baseball players are heroes, Fedewa said. Now we know who the real heroes in our country are.

Contact Mollie Miller at

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