FORT WORTH, Texas – U.S. Army Green Beret and former Texas Longhorns long snapper Nate Boyer will be this year’s keynote speaker for the 2016 annual Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Luncheon. The luncheon will be held at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel, Thursday December 22nd at 12:00 p.m. presented by American Airlines and the Omni Fort Worth Hotel.
“We are honored to have Nate join us this year to share his story with our teams and fans”, said Brant Ringler, executive director of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. “From a tour in Iraq and two in Afghanistan, to his time on the field with Texas, to playing with the Seattle Seahawks; Boyer has a diverse background that has given him a unique outlook and made him a powerful voice for the troops.”
At 18 years old, Boyer worked on a fishing boat in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to pursue film and began working with children diagnosed with autism. Feeling the urge to lend a hand over seas, Boyer volunteered at refugee camps in the Sudan region. That experience led to his enlistment in the US Army; where he earned the Green Beret after less than 2 years. Shortly after, Nate joined the Special Forces Group in Okinawa and Iraq. After returning to the States, he decided to walk on to the University of Texas football team.
While playing for Texas, Nate completed two deployments to Afghanistan during his summer breaks. He practiced snapping at night to prepare himself for the upcoming season, and upon returning to Austin was named the starting long snapper.
“It's as much an honor to be asked to come back and speak at the Armed Forces Bowl as it was to be the inaugural recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award. Many bowl games have special meaning and history behind them, but none of them would be possible without our men and women in uniform defending freedom,” said Nate Boyer. “College football is an important part of our culture, and having a bowl game that recognizes the sacrifices made by our troops is not only inspiring, it's necessary.”
Nate completed a Master’s degree in Advertising last year and is currently preparing for another opportunity in the NFL. Boyer is presently working with two non-profits: Conquering Kili (Waterboys.org) and MVP (Merging Vets and Players). Waterboys unites NFL players to bring drinking water to communities in East Africa. MVP was created to bring together former NFL players and combat veterans in an area where they can continue to work on promoting a healthy mind and body.
In addition, he also has partnered up with Mission6zero; a for-profit team that focuses on team building and leadership development.
The 14th annual Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl will be held the following day on Dec. 23, 2016 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth featuring a team from the BIG 12 facing off against the US Naval Academy, pending bowl eligibility. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. (CT) and will begin with a tailgate featuring interactive displays, family-friendly activities, and more. There will be a free concert following the game.
Tickets to the bowl game range from $30 for general admission seating to $75 dollars for lower bowl reserved seats. A limited number of seats are also available in the exclusive Bud Light Platinum Club, located on the west side of Amon G. Carter Stadium. At $125, these tickets include premium seating, complimentary food and beverages, and access to the inside of the club level.
The annual game, played in honor of the armed forces of the United States, is the only collegiate football bowl game that has hosted all three U.S. Military Academy football teams. The U.S. Military Academy (2010), the U.S. Air Force Academy (2007-2009, 2012, 2015) and the U.S. Naval Academy (2013) have all previously participated in the bowl.
The bowl game also sponsors the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America. For additional information about the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, please visit ArmedForcesBowl.com, Facebook.com/ArmedForcesBowl or Twitter.com/ArmedForcesBowl.
The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is one of 13 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN.