Men from the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Division, play flag football on Tuesday in grey T-shirts. -- Kelii Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

Soldiers play flag football on gravel in Kuwait

Published 9:16am Thursday, November 10, 2011

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait — Men from the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Division playing as Team Bear Dragon, lost 36-32 to Delta 1/44 AMD, an air defense artillery regiment from Fort Worth, Texas, during a football game Tuesday evening at Camp Buehring in Kuwait.

1st Lt. Dan Gurtner, of Rochester, said the team originally marked down their team name as “TBD,” meaning to be determined, but a team member made up the name Team Bear Dragon so they stuck with it.

The football seasons started mid-September, and there are 16 regular games in the season before the playoffs begin. They play on a makeshift field near the softball field on the base, and there’s no grass to break their falls — it’s all gravel.

“People miss some skin, mostly from elbows, knees and hands,” Gurtner said.

He said it’s a good distraction from their daily work, and something they can look forward to. Pick up games like these are also not something they can always organize back in the States with jobs, families and other responsibilities, Gurtner said.