Football Greetings from Iraq

By: Carrie Cline Email
By: Carrie Cline Email


Coal Bowl fever is heating up around the world! Marshall and WVU chants are ringing out from a most unlikely place. And while war rages on the football field, those in the midst of a much different war share their school spirit for the big game.

Besides their first names, Kelly Fuller and Kelley LeMaster share several common bonds. Both have husbands who are Huntington police officers and both of those officers are currently serving in Iraq--Lt. Col. Scott Fuller and Major Chris LeMaster. But, the connections don't end there. Both are Marshall University grads and huge football fans.

“I sent a box yesterday with two more Marshall flags and stickers for their hard hats,” said Kelly Fuller.

Even though they're a world away, the big match-up against WVU
on Saturday is still top of mind. The West Virginia Army National Guard 111th Engineering Brigade is based out of Eleanor--and yes, even in Iraq--there's a friendly rivalry going on.

They've got WVU and MU flags hanging in their chow hall and I’m sure they’re all over the barracks.

“He's pretty excited. When he calls, he mentions it,” said Kelley LeMaster.

“We've got season tickets and he was looking so forward to the game and when he found out they would be leaving in May, he was very upset,” said Kelly Fuller.

But, the soldiers thought of a way to serve their country in Iraq and still be a part of the game here at home.

The soldiers taped two greetings--one from the soldiers rooting for the Herd and another from those rooting for the ‘Eers.

“They've called me for two weeks to get this on the Jumbotron... I didn't know who to call,” said Kelly Fuller.

But, the Kelly's found the right person and Saturday fans from both schools will enjoy greetings from our soldiers.

Major LeMaster called just in time to get the good news.

“To be obviously a WV citizen and Marshall alumni. It makes me very proud to be able to be a part of it all,” said Major LeMaster.

Establishing a new bond from Iraq to Huntington and back again.

“They wanted to be a part of it and wanted to be here and can't,” said Kelly Fuller.

The men will be able to watch the game from their base in Iraq. They plan to wear their school colors and root for their home teams.

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