GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - The five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces met Saturday in Green Bay to do battle... of the flag football variety. The Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, and Army National Guard traded their boots for cleats at the Green Bay Packers' 1st Annual Salute to Service flag football tournament at Titletown Park.
"This is just a fun event that we can do, we can put on, to show our appreciation to the men and women of the armed services that have served and that are currently serving," said Ryan Fencl, the Packers' Youth Football Coordinator.
With Lambeau Field in the background, the five teams all played four games - one against each opponent - in a round-robin pool, and were then re-seeded for a single elimination tournament.
The five teams each had ten players and one coach, comprised of both active service members and veterans.
"As separate units, separate branches, we don't see each other too often, so to have something like this is real fun," said Steven Gee, Quarterback for the Air Force team.
Salute to Service shirts were sold during the tournament, with the proceeds divided evenly among the Morale Funds of each team. The winning team was also promised an additional $2,000, and the runner-up $1,000, courtesy of the NFL's 2017 Salute to Service Team Program Grant.
"There's some incentive to actually winning the tournament, along with a nice trophy here at the end," Fencl said.
The Air Force took home the 1st place trophy, with the Navy finishing 2nd. But all of the games were hard-fought and spirited, making it likely the Salute to Service will be a Titletown tradition for many years to come.
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