Jets do something great for troops in Afghanistan Dan Leberfeld

*August 26, 2016 – With the support of the New York Jets, service members from the 10th Mountain Division, 518th Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade and the 25th Signal Battalion of the U.S. Army stationed at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan, participated in a Jets-themed flag football game as part of an organized, New York-driven sports day.

Dubbed “Mission Resolute Support,” military service members donned custom uniforms donated by the Jets and competed in an eight-on-eight, friendly flag football game as part of the Bagram AFB Sports Day. In addition to jerseys, the Jets supported the event by providing other football essentials, including awards for team MVPs, footballs, kicking tees and coaching clipboards. Participating members included Colonel Seung Paik, Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Malave and Lieutenant Colonel Cedric Gaskin.

To complete the day, center Nick Mangold and wide receiver Eric Decker joined the service members via Skype during the post-game celebration.

“I wanted to personally thank them for their service and support abroad,” said Mangold. “I admire and respect their sacrifice and dedication to service.”

“To be able to give back to our military community is important to myself and this organization,” said Decker. “I will always have the utmost respect for our service members.”

In addition to the flag football game, the New York-centered sports event included a baseball game, volleyball, a corn hole tournament, a three-point contest and a tailgate to provide service members with food and music. More than 100 service members attended the event.
“Last November I had the idea to do something different for the soldiers in Afghanistan: let’s send them a bunch of shirts. That’s how it started — so they could wear a bunch of shirts when they’re playing pickup football,” said Steve Castleton, the New York Jets military liaison who approached the team about becoming involved.

“The idea was to do a football game where the soldiers can have a day where they did not have to worry about defending our freedom. They only had to worry about defending against the deep pass or a sweep to the outside.”

Packages of snacks were also donated to support the event by Blue Star Mothers of America, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support through service. Viewing parties will be held for family members to watch the game.

*Press Release