WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Some not-so-familiar players took the field at McLane Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Veterans from across Texas competed in a flag football tournament for the second annual L3Harris Battle of the Branches Veterans Day Festival.
“It just fosters brotherhood and community,” organizer Collin Bauer said. “We kind of get to have a little bit of friendly rivalry and bring everyone together right around Veterans Day, which is a very important day for us.”
Veterans from the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force all competed in teams for the tournament put on by the student organization Veterans of Baylor.
But the tournament wasn’t just for Baylor students who are veterans. Marine Corps team member Susan Grinie said the tournament allowed her to meet other Central Texas veterans.
“I mean I don’t know a bunch in the area, so I think events like this are good because you do get to meet people from your branch and other branches too,” she said.
For the first match, Daniel Roe and the Army team competed against the Marine Corps team. Roe wasn’t in the Army, but he competed for his favorite soldier.
“I myself haven’t served,” Roe said. “My dad served 30 years and passed away from combat injuries and military has a very big impact on my life.”
The L3Harris Battle of the Branches Veterans Day festival will return next year. Organizers said they hope next year’s tournament will be even bigger.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to get a lot more people out here next year, get our name out there, so people know that we’re here,” President of Veterans of Baylor Sahvannah Smith said. “We want the Waco community to know about our veterans.”
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