United Airlines, we salute you.
This may be “old news” to some, but since it’s “new news” to me, I figure it’s probably “new news” to many others.
Did you know that back in 2013, when the threat of a Government shutdown was looming large (and eventually did happen), United Airlines offered to fly the U.S. Air Force Academy football team from Colorado Springs to Baltimore, so that their Inter-service Rivalry game against the U.S. Naval Academy football team wouldn’t have to be cancelled. The game is an important part of the Round-Robin series that determines who wins the coveted, Commander-in-Chief Trophy.
This tweet was sent out by United Airlines, and was a very classy, and patriotic move on their part.
According to an ESPN article:
Defense Department spokesman Bill Urban said lawyers are trying to determine whether non-appropriated funds might be used by the Air Force team to travel to Navy and the Army team to travel to Boston College for Saturday’s scheduled games.
The U.S. Naval Academy fully funds its athletics programs through unappropriated funds by using earnings from sources such as ticket sales and TV rights. But the U.S. Military Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy partially fund their athletics programs through appropriated funds, so they would be affected by the government shutdown.
Urban said at least a couple of offers have been made to pay for the service academy football teams’ travel costs to games if the government shutdown doesn’t end before Saturday, but he declined to identify the potential donors.
“There are a lot of questions up in the air,” Urban said. “It’s a complicated question. We’re currently investigating whether non-appropriated funds could be given to a program to travel for an athletic competition. Currently, a legal review is underway. The service academy’s football games for this weekend have not been canceled as we speak.”
Although the Department of Defense had suspended athletic competition at the nation’s service academies because of the shutdown that did take place, an exception was made for this event because it was funded by non-appropriated money. Unfortunately, for this long-time “Fighting’ Falcon Football Fan”, the Air Force Academy lost rather badly to the Midshipman of the Naval Academy, 28-10.
Still and all, I just felt it was important to give credit where credit is due, and I want to render a Salute to United Airlines for respecting the young men who will one day lead our military, and offering to allow them to “Fly The Friendly Skies”.