The last day of Chiefs training camp also was Military Appreciation Day at Missouri Western State University.
But within the military branches there are rivalries that don’t disappear just because Patrick Mahomes II is throwing the football.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jonathan Lofgren is originally from Nebraska, although he played football at Emporia State University in Kansas. He remains a die-hard football fan and thinks the key to the Chiefs’ success will be how well the team plays on defense.
“It’ll be an exciting year, though. A real exciting year,” he said.
Lofgren returned from his fifth tour abroad in March. His battalion was stationed in Kuwait.
During camp he was sharing his operational knowledge of the M2A3 Bradley, a reconnaissance and troop transport vehicle.
“Our main job as a reconnaissance platoon is to go forward ahead of our company lines and basically just look at stuff,” Lofgren said. “We can effectively engage three targets within 10 seconds and destroy them.”
Rick Seiter is a U.S. Navy veteran of 30 years. He spent time as an engineer and retired as a master chief. He said many who serve in the Navy call the Bradley just one of the Army’s many “play toys.”
“If it wasn’t for the Navy, these other guys could never get to the battle,” Seiter said. “We’ve got the big guns.”
Seiter served on the USS Missouri during the first Gulf War, codenamed Operation Desert Shield, and remembers firing some of the first Tomahawk Missiles during an engagement in January of 1991.
He has attended Military Appreciation Day at Chiefs training camp the past few years, although he’s been a fan for longer than that. He has multiple Chiefs jerseys, including those of Travis Kelce and Joe Montana.
When he was stationed in Hawaii he said he was lucky enough to have a chance meeting with Derrick Thomas, who was there to play in an AFC–NFC Pro Bowl game.
“We were just having a little cookout out there, you know, and he came out and we gave him a beer and he had a hot dog and he was just one of the guys,” Seiter said. “We didn’t even ask him to sign anything. I’m sure he would have.”