More Pics from the “Salute the Troops” Bowl

Be sure to tune into the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl TONIGHT

on FOX at 6pm MST (that’s 8pm EST) and watch the half-time show

for highlights from the “Salute the Troops” Bowl!

Legendary Notre Dame football player Rocket Ismail (l) poses for a photo with a fan in front of a Notre Dame banner during a pep rally in Baghdad, Iraq December 31, 2009. The rally was celebrating the first-ever Tostitos "Salute the Troops" Bowl where legendary college football players and coaches will play alongside the troops. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

US Forces-Iraq Commanding General Raymond Odierno talks with legendary football coaches, players and four cheerleaders from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Baghdad, Iraq December 31, 2009. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Lieutenant General Charles Jacoby (l) welcomes football great Bruce Smith to Baghdad, Iraq December 30, 2009. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

(l-r) Former notable college football players and coaches Bruce Smith, Barry Switzer, Brian Bosworth, Rocket Ismail, Joe Washington, and Tommy Bowden sign autographs for soldiers at Camp Ali Al Salem in Kuwait December 29, 2009. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Former Pro and College football star Brian Bosworth (r) talks with soldiers at Camp Buehring in Kuwait December 29, 2009. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Former Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer (r) shares football stories with two soldiers at Camp Buehring in Kuwait December 29, 2009. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

College football legend Joe Washington (l), playing for Team Freedom, breaks through a wall of Team Liberty defenders during the first-ever Tostitos "Salute the Troops" Bowl where legendary college football players played alongside troops in Baghdad, Iraq January 1, 2010. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Football legend Tony Casillas (92), playing for Team Freedom, tries to evade Team Liberty's Spc. Aaron decker (41) and college quarterback legend Tee Martin (c) who was playing defense during the first-ever Tostitos "Salute the Troops" Bowl where legendary college football players played alongside troops in Baghdad, Iraq January 1, 2010. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Wounded Troops Enjoy a View from the Sky Box

Michael R. S. Teilmann, the Executive Director of USO – Greater Los Angeles Area, Inc. sent this dispatch from the field on January 2: We were able to get a sky box at Staples Center for our wounded warriors last night…THIS is what we are in business for — to take care of our troops and our wounded warriors.  Look at the smiles on the faces of these heroes! God Bless everyone who helps us with our sacred mission. Happy New Year to all.  -Mike”

That’s right, Mike.  This IS what the USO is all about.  The troops made the trip to the Staples Center in conjunction with The 911 HelpAmerica Foundation.  We have a photo gallery below.

Mike Talleda heads up this group’s wounded warrior initiative and had this to say to the USO:  “I want to thank you for always thinking of us.  You and the Bob Hope USO at LAX have made it possible for us to get our guys together more than anyone. You’ve always put our name out there and for that we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  We help our guys financially, we advocate for them but the thing that we like to do most is create a fellowship and get these guys out of the house, and believe me ‘it ain’t easy”. Some of the best times we have had are because of invitations that have come our way because of you.”

Outstanding work, Mike and Michael!  And to all the troops who enjoyed the game, that was some fourth quarter, eh?  We’re so proud of your service.