Moffat County salutes service with Military Appreciation Night
The gridiron battleground known as the Bulldog Proving Grounds was the site of a hometown victory Friday as the Moffat County High School football team pulled off a hard-fought defeat of the visiting Battle Mountain Huskies.
And, though it may have been a dogfight between the two groups of athletes, they and others in attendance that night knew there those who have been in much bigger, much more important skirmishes.
And to those who served, they wanted to say thank you.
Military Appreciation Night for MCHS football featured multiple facets to pay tribute to the Armed Forces, among them the Bulldogs’ uniforms for the evening; a special set of blue and white jerseys with a camouflage motif, paired with stars and stripes over the Bulldog logo on players’ helmets.
Local veterans were suited up in their finery for the presentation before kickoff to hoist a new set of red, white and blue on the field’s flagpole, followed by the singing of the national anthem by the MCHS choir program.
However, it was halftime when soldiers past and present had their moment in the spotlight, escorted by the spirit squad, as spectators applauded each military branch.
For Jim Phillips, the fight was some time ago, serving in the US Navy in the Vietnam War in 1969.
Still, 50 years later, he takes every opportunity he can to show his patriotism and honor fellow members of the military.
“It’s the thing to do, something you need to do,” he said.
Zane Shipman wore his Army fatigues to join the effort Friday night, among the youngest to receive acknowledgment. The 2018 MCHS alumnus enlisted as soon as possible to fulfill his dream with part of his service entailing stints with the military police.
The former football player was particularly impressed by the team’s apparel for the occasion, which included the word “Honor” on the back of every jersey, a big change from the Military Appreciation Night when he played the sport.
“I think the closest thing we had when I played was camo socks,” Shipman laughed.
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For the first time in 18 months, the Moffat County High School auditorium will fill with music and singing from students, as the school performs MCHS’s musical, “Beauty and the Beast.”