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Guard Family Sings for Thousands Sgt. Benjamin Crane

Colorado Army National Guard Sgt. Archie Cooley, his wife Lisa, a Colorado National Guard family readiness support assistant and daughter Hollie, a high school sophomore, sing the national anthem before the Broncos Thanksgiving matchup with the New York Giants at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, Nov. 26, 2009.

Colorado Army National Guard Sgt. Archie Cooley, his wife Lisa, a family readiness support assistant for Colorado National Guard Family Programs and daughter Hollie, a high school student, took center stage to sing the national anthem before the holiday matchup between the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants.

The bright stadium lights shone down on players, coaches, staff, fans and members of a unique family on Thanksgiving.

For the first time, the Cooleys got to partake in on-field activities at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, Nov. 26.

Colorado Army National Guard Sgt. Archie Cooley, his wife Lisa, a family readiness support assistant for Colorado National Guard Family Programs and daughter Hollie, a high school student, took center stage to sing the national anthem before the holiday matchup between the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants.

After hearing them sing at a recent change of command ceremony, another Guardsman, Lt. Col. Kenneth D. Chavez, recommended the family to the Broncos. After hearing their demo tape, the Broncos asked the Cooleys to participate in the pre-game festivities.

"Lt. Col. Chavez ... said that he had a connection with the Broncos," said Lisa. "So he asked me if I would be willing to do other events. And I said yes ... and he got us in contact [with the Broncos]. I thought it would be an awesome opportunity since my husband and son are both in the military."

And when the time came to sing, the family was awestruck.

"As we walked out on the field ... it was very humbling and overwhelming," said Lisa. "I personally hadn't been to a Broncos game before and neither has my daughter. ... Just to be able to go on the field itself is an awesome opportunity, but to sing the national anthem as a family is just very overwhelming."

Singing as a family has been a longstanding tradition.

In Houston, where they lived prior to moving to Colorado, the family sung on a regular basis with their two older daughters who still reside in Texas. However, since the Cooleys moved to Colorado five years ago, they haven't had the same chances to use their talents — until recently.

Archie Cooley, a helicopter maintenance technician with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation has always been a huge Broncos fan. He joined the Guard when he arrived in Colorado after seeing his son Anthony enlist. Both father and son work as CH-47 Chinook helicopter mechanics in the same unit at the Army Aviation Support Facility on Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo.

"I am still a little nervous and excited," said Archie as he walked off the field after singing. "This is awesome!"

Hollie, the youngest in the family, echoed her father's thoughts.

"I think we did pretty well. It was a good experience," she said.


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This work, Guard family sings for thousands at Bronco game, by SGT Benjamin Crane, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:11.26.2009

Date Posted:01.06.2010 12:35

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