TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – This Veterans Day, 10 Travis
Air Force Base Airmen were invited to the home of the San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s
Stadium, Santa Clara, Nov. 11.
and their families had the opportunity to view of the 49ers practice. They were
able to meet with the players one-on-one and converse with each other.
family this experience was more than amazing and why Senior Master Sgt. Scott
Piper, 60th Air Mobility Wing career assistance advisor, says, “Everything
happens for a reason.”
up in the military, I didn’t have a ‘local’ team and in the 1980s, the ‘Niners’
were on national T.V. quite a bit, so I started watching and following them,”
his wife, Master Sgt. Luciana Piper, 60th Medical Support Squadron information
systems flight chief, have been stationed all around the world.
opportunity to be in the same local area as his favorite team was a dream come
true. Meeting and getting a personal connection with the players was just an
added benefit and awesome for the kids, he said.
“This is really
about my kids,” said Scott. “I have four boys and just like me, growing up in
the military, they don’t have a ‘hometown’ team.”
youngest boys reciprocated their dad’s love for the 49ers and now call them
their favorite team.
the 49ers is an experience the kids will never forget,” said Luciana. “The kids
had so much fun and loved being able to talk to their favorite players.”
felt just as privileged to have Airmen and their families on the field to
connect with them after the practice.
appreciate the support from all of our fans,” said D.J. Reed, San Francisco
49ers defensive back. “Meeting some of the men and women who protect our
freedom every day is truly incredible.”
experience with the 49ers is different from other events service members are fortuned
to do in that the athletes and service members were able to hear each other’s
to the players was incredible,” said Scott.
athletes have a lot of heart. They don’t give up, and when it comes to Monday
Night Football, they play hard, they hit hard, they get knocked down, but they
get back up with intensity — striving to hit and play harder, he said.
many reasons why Scott loves the 49ers and football.
“In the mid-80s,
I fell in love with the game of football and idolized a man named Jerry Rice,”
said Scott. “I appreciated the pride he took in his appearance, and I
absolutely admired the work ethic he displayed in practices and his legendary
off season workouts. He was not the tallest or the fastest, but he worked the
hardest. As a result, he became the best to ever play the game.”
Jerry Rice where Scott learned a strong work ethic and leadership skills. It
has paid dividends for the Airmen and civilians learning from Scott.
coached sports for the last 19 years and the game of football and its team
dynamics shares many parallels with executing a military mission,” said Scott.
“ While all team sports have individual responsibilities to ensure a team success,
football is unique in that if a single person doesn’t do their job to the best
of their ability, not only does it jeopardize the success of that play, but it
could affect the health and the livelihood of their teammates.”
with the San Francisco 49ers showed how the men and women of Travis aren’t just
people in a uniform and it showed that the 49ers aren’t just men in jerseys.
it provides perspective for both the military and the community partners,” he
said. “Getting involved with the community reminds us as military members that
our communities are ultimately why our military exists. We don the nation’s
cloth to allow our citizens to participate in public activities such as
sporting events. It also provides an opportunity for military members to be
reminded that their service is appreciated.”
Veterans Day was a great experience for the entire family, said Scott.
freedom to play this amazing sport,” said Reed. “I wish our military received
more of a spotlight for the service they do. It’s nice to meet the people
serving and an honor to have them as fans as I’m a fan of them.”