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AFA's Troy Calhoun plans to make overseas trip to visit deployed military personnel

March 8, 2014 Updated: March 8, 2014 at 11:30 pm
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Troy Calhoun is recruiting again, only now he's seeking the services of his fellow coaches.

Calhoun is slated to make his second coaches tour to visit military installations overseas and he's helping to fill the travel roster.

"I've made a few calls," Calhoun said. "We'll see what ends up happening there. The key is guys need to know that it is a long trip. It is long. The plane ride is very hot or very cold. It's not comfortable."

The itinerary as of now will take six or seven coaches through Germany, the Middle East, an aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean, Italy, Great Britain and Washington from May 8-16.

Currently joining Calhoun are Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, former coach Houston Nutt and coaches from New Hampshire and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

The coaches will meet with deployed members of the military, sign autographs, conduct flag football games and pseudo scouting combines, answer questions and spend as much one-on-one time with troops as possible.

The trip is being organized by Military Appreciation Partnerships Inc.

"My hat's off to Troy Calhoun," said Mike Whalen of MAP, "he's the one who got this started."

Calhoun took a similar trip four years ago along with, among others, Mack Brown, Chip Kelly and Jim Tressel. It was Calhoun's call to Whalen in January that got the ball rolling for this trip.

MAP is a nonprofit organization and the coaches will be donating their time.

"You do realize here at the academy that there's only one purpose and that is to graduate leaders of character, leaders to go serve as quality second lieutenants, that's the only purpose you have," Calhoun said. "That doesn't mean we can't go have some fun and crank up and play football, too, but the mission of the academy is very well explained. The essence of the academy is to produce leaders of character. Those that serve, especially those who are deployed, you should be able to shake their hand, look them in the eye and say thanks."

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