FORT CARSON, Colo. – As part of the their annual Military Salute event, members from the Denver Broncos spent the day with soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Nov. 13.
“They wanted to come down here and show some appreciation to the soldiers, but what they really wanted to do is understand what soldiers do,” said Sgt. Maj. Kevin Muhlenbeck, operations sergeant major, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div. “This is a way for them to build a relationship with Fort Carson.”
The group from the Broncos included defensive end Ben Garland, fullback Chris Gronkowski, five cheerleaders, Miles the Broncos’ mascot and former Broncos fullback Reggie Rivers and linebacker Randy Gradishar.
“We wanted to get out and say ‘thank you’ to the troops, you guys are in our backyard so we just came down here to and get a little taste of the life that soldiers lead,” said Dustin Frost, Events and Special Projects Coordinator with the Broncos.
The day’s events started with a trip to Patriot Grade School and then to 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment’s motor pool where the visitors were shown tanks, different weapons and were able to don gear soldiers wear.
“So they came down and got to play on tanks, handle some weapons and really see how the guys train and it gave them a snap shot of what we do,” Muhlenbeck said.
After working up an appetite, the group went to Stack Dining Facility for lunch and an autograph session with soldiers.
“We love this opportunity,” Garland said. “Any time we can come out and interact with the soldiers and thank them for their service, it means a lot to us.”
Once lunch was finished, the group went and met with 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson Commander Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson where they received division coins as gratitude for their visit. The group’s final stop was at 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment’s motor pool.
“It’s a great opportunity to have them out and for them to see what we do,” said Spc. Joseph Houser, cavalry scout, Troop C, 1st Sqdn., 10th Cav. Reg. “It’s a fun time and it gives us a little break from training.”
The visitors were given tours of Bradley Fighting Vehicles and interacted with the soldiers from the squadron.
“I was very humbled by the experience that they took the time out of their busy schedules to come out and hang out with soldiers,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Larson, cavalry scout, Troop C. “It’s very rare that people of their caliber come and hangout with Soldiers and to see their expressions they seemed impressed with what we do on a day to day basis.”
The visitors were not only impressed by the equipment, but by the soldiers as well.
“My favorite part about to day was meeting the soldiers,” Garland said. “The guns are cool, the tanks are cool but not as cool as the actual soldiers behind them.”
The days visit was just one part of the annual Military Salute; as another gesture of friendship, the Denver Broncos have invited 50 “Warhorse” soldiers and 25 family members to attend the game on Nov. 17.