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Army vs. Navy: America's Game

What the rivalry means to gold star teens and mentors

Army vs. Navy: America’s Game

It is no secret that the Army-Navy rivalry is among our country’s best rivalries, but what makes it so great? The game between the Army West Point Black Knights and the Naval Academy Midshipmen is rooted in rich history and fierce competition. There is plenty of smack talk, as well as, some pretty big bragging rights at stake. However, in the end both teams are playing for the same goal, freedom. This fuels the intense passion behind not only the players, but the fans as well.

“It’s more than just football. This isn’t the biggest rivalry in college football, it is the biggest rivalry in sports. If not for these guys doing what they do, you wouldn’t have football. America understands that because of these young men, they allow us to have freedoms in this great country.” — Navy Head Coach, Ken Niumatalolo

The Gold Star Teen Adventures organization is composed of teens from various service branches and mentors from both academies. No one understands the Army-Navy rivalry better than the teens and mentors of GSTA. Teens enjoy bragging about their loved one’s service branch, and they often create strong bonds with mentors who are in similar services. You will hear our teens throw around the “Go Army, Beat Navy/ Go Navy, Beat Army” chants at almost every camp, and many of them aspire to attend one of the two prestigious military academies, 

Elizabeth, a teen whose father served in the Army says, “It displays our affection and pride for our parent’s military career and sacrifice. We do not dismiss their past, but choose to embrace it by integrating it into our lives.” It is a way to honor loved ones, and that is the goal of Gold Star Teen Adventures. 

This year, the bragging rights ultimately ended up in the hands of West Point players, cadets, coaches and fans, after a 15-year streak was brought to an end with an emotional 21-17 Army victory at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. 

This post was written by gold star teen, Samantha Ponder

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