Sometimes I bring you the bad news, sometimes I bring you the good news. Let’s go with a heart-warming story for today.
The 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division (whew, that’s a mouthful) doesn’t exactly have an easy job. Sure, they’re based in Hawaii, but currently they are in Iraq in support of Operation Proper Exit.
However, one of their own had the chance to take a little break back in October to compete in the Armed Forces Men’s Soccer Championship.
Specialist Chris Harvey, a one-time participant in the Dana Cup, joined the All-Army Soccer Team to face-off against teams from the other military branches. The initial round-robin followed by single elimination matches saw the Marines and the Air Force face off in the consolation match, while Army faced Navy in the championship.
The championship match went the full 90 minutes with no score, and the first half of extra time was scoreless as well. Navy broke through in the second half of extra time, but Army equalized to send things to PKs, where Army prevailed 4-3.
“We knew we were going to have to fight for the championship,” said Harvey. “It was war.” [Ed. Note: Kellen Winslow Jr. feels vindicated]
One of his teammates from the All-Army team, 2nd Lieutenant Andrew J. Glubzinski (Company A, 2nd Military Intelligence Battalion), went even further after being chosen for the All Armed Forces team to represent the United States in the 2010 International Military Sports Council (CISM) Continental Men’s Soccer Championship tournament*.
Glubzinski, who played for four years at West Point (and with Vardar, one of the biggest youth clubs in Michigan, before that) was among 18 players representing all branches of the military chosen to the team sent to Suriname for the international competition, facing off against teams from Brazil, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Suriname and Canada. Although the United States finished in 5th place, it was certainly an incredible experience for the players.
“We had a great time interacting with the different teams,” Glubzinski said, adding that many members from the opposing countries swapped T-shirts and souvenirs…”I felt like a professional athlete. I think we had about five days off the whole two months.”
*”As the second largest sporting organization in the world and comprised of the armed forces of 133 countries, CISM’s mission is to contribute to world peace by bringing the world’s armed forces together with friendly competition through sports.”