Whitecotton Named Soldier-Hero At Bowl
William Whitecotton never joined the Army with thoughts of being labeled a hero. As an emergency treatment team leader and an Army sergeant, he just wanted to do the best job he knew how.
But Whitecotton, son of Gary and Debbi Whitecotton, Route 1, Proctor, found himself in just that role recently when he was announced at midfield during high school football’s biggest contest-the U.S. Army sponsored All-American Bowl.
Whitecotton was honored as a soldier-hero, one of more than 90 throughout the Army who had been awarded either the Silver Star, Bronze Star, or Purple Heart during deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan.
The soldier-heroes were each matched with an all-star player before the kick off of the contest that pits the best players in the nation against each other in an East versus West matchup.
“I was selected for this honor because of my actions during the invasion of Iraq,” said Whitecotton. “It feels like I have been rewarded twice for risking my life.”
During activities in the days leading up to game day, Whitecotton was involved with the players, as well as other soldier-heroes in events such as a skills competition, a barbeque, and a banquet held in their honor.
“The player I am paired up with is set on his goal of teaching after college, but has shown a great interest in what I do,” said Whitecotton.
Whitecotton says he believes that not only players, but young people overall, can benefit from serving their country, whether in the military or in projects close to where they live.
“Service makes you appreciate the freedoms and opportunities that we have when you have a direct hand in fighting to preserve and protect them,” said Whitecotton. “It also gives you a sense of belonging to something much bigger than yourself and secures you a place in the history of our country.”
Today, Whitecotton is an emergency treatment team leader with the 4th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo.
He has completed 16 years of military service and has deployed six times and is scheduled to deploy again this year.
(Story by Rich Lamance, Joint Hometown News Service)