I have had the opportunity to spend 16 glorious years of my life in the United States military. I’ve been able to meet people from all walks of life, and I’ve realized that our military is full of great people that are gifted in many ways.
I’ve especially noticed that our military is full of exceptional athletes, both male and female. These athletes include those who were student athletes at one of the military academies, as well as those who may have been All-Americans athletes while in high school or even college.
I decided to write this article because every day we see professional athletes get paid millions of dollars. Yet many members of our military are extremely underpaid, even though they are making so many more sacrifices than the typical NBA star or other professional athlete.
There are many athletes in the military that could have probably gone on to be professional athletes, yet they made a choice to serve their country. Our military should give these athletes an opportunity to serve their country and play their sport while getting paid to do so.
Military Athletes Living Their Dreams
In addition to their dream of being a marine, sailor, soldier, airman, or coastie, many of our military personnel also dreamed of being a professional football player, baseball player, or other type of pro athlete. They would love to be able to play in front of millions and get the winning hit or score the winning touchdown.
But, once they join the military, that dream gets set aside to serve our country and protect our freedom.
Our military budget rises every year, and we constantly lose good people to civilian companies because they pay them more. With all the great athletes we have, and the fact that sports entertainment grows every day, wouldn’t it be great to be able to retain these people, make our military personnel’s dream come true, and solve our military budget?
I think it’s possible, and it would actually be pretty simple. We could create the Military Athletic League.
How the League Could Work
As part of this league, the military could have its own professional sports teams in many different sports. We could have an infantryman that serves their country and plays baseball, football, basketball, soccer, or another sport.
The proceeds from the games could be used to help reduce our defense budget. It would also help the military retain our talented soldiers, since they wouldn’t have to sacrifice one dream for another. In addition, players in the Military Athletic League could also be paid a bonus, just like with any other MOS.
Maybe you’re laughing at what I have written, but really think about it: there are 2.5 million people serving the military, and we have a country full of patriots. Many of them would be interested in watching a team from the 82nd Airborne Division play a team from the 10th Mountain Group.
The Right Solution
I realize that this is just a dream of mine, but to many that serve our country, it would be their dream come true. I know that making this opportunity happen would require a lot of effort, but I just keep imagining how many people would watch Big Red One play 3rd Cavalry in a basketball game on AFN or CBS.
There are so many gifted athletes that have left their dreams behind so they could pursue their dream to serve our country. The military could give back and utilize the gifts these amazing athletes have while helping solve our military’s financial problems.
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Roger staubach graduated from the naval academy, did his 6 year commitment and went on to quarterback the Dallas cowboys. He’s the richest former professional athlete in the country. Created his own construction company after he retired from the cowboys.