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North Texas Nebraskans

2009 Oct 31

For The Troops

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By HuskerLocker

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WACO, Texas - Sgt. Luke Watt has served two year-long tours of duty in Iraq. He's rotating out of Army soon, but before he does, he got a surprising, unexpected reward for his service: Free tickets to the Nebraska-Baylor game, plus transportation, plus a breakfast tailgate.

All for being a Husker. Watt and two of his buddies from Ft. Hood were among the more than 100 soldiers and airmen treated by North Texas Nebraskans, which raised more $8,000 in two weeks to provide the provide experience.

“My commander told I might be able to get me some tickets,” said Watt, a Wood River native. “I kept nagging him about it and I got some.”

Watt brought along a couple of Ft. Hood buddies – Spc. Ben Silvers and Spc. Matthew Mols – along for the event, held in beautiful, sunny conditions in the corner of a BU parking lot.

Almost 1,000 fans attended at one time or another during the morning, sharing stories, beers, well wishes, smiles and respect for the assembled troops, who arrived on buses, the transportation organized by one of NTN's watch sites, Vitty's sports bars.

Spcs. Spencer Hanel and Ross Breitkreutz were both native Nebraskans and Ft. Hood soldiers enjoying the day. They were cousins, as well. It was Breitkreutz's first Husker game anywhere – including Lincoln.

“Greatest fans base in the world,” Breitkreutz said. “This is absolutely unbelievable. I hope we take it. We should take it.”

NTN president Jill Simpson weaved among various groups of Husker fans, the breakfast station and the big black bus set up to hand out tickets to the soldiers. She said the event, which she figured would attract at least 400 members, had “exploded” into two times that.

“This has been a terrific event,” she said.

She also welcomed the Huskers' 49-member pep band - which showed up to play “Hail Varsity” and an Armed Forces medley – and Gov. Dave Heineman, who appeared briefly to thank the troops for their service.

We'll have more on this story. Stay tuned to Husker Locker for more!

Tags: north texas nebraskans

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