On the field: Coast Guard members participate in Cleveland Browns’ military day

>By Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph Della Rosa, an operations specialist from the Ninth District Command Center:

Nov. 7, 2010 was the perfect day for a Cleveland Browns home game – clear skies and a high of 50. On this day, I had the honor and privilege of representing the United States military in the Browns’ introductory gauntlet along with more than a dozen other Coast Guardsmen from the Ninth District and additional representatives from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. As we stepped out onto the field, I could see that this was truly an auspicious occasion.

The crowd cheered, not only for their home team, but also for us as we waited for the pre-game ceremony. Chomps, the Browns’ mascot, incited the crowd to follow him in encouraging cheers, and he joined in with the celebration and appreciation of the United States military branches all while wearing an Army camouflage jacket complete with “CHOMPS” name tape.

It was not long before the Browns football team poured onto the field, spurring enthusiasm and optimism. They no doubt hoped the day would represent a continuation of the success they had against the New Orleans Saints two weeks prior. At game’s end, the Browns indeed thrashed the Patriots, the team with the best record in the NFL at the time.

While I can’t say I was happy with the outcome (I am a Patriots fan, born and raised in Boston), I can say that I was truly humbled by the outpouring of support for the men and women of the Armed Forces witnessed by both the Browns fans and the Browns players.

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