BEALETON, Va. –
Liberty High School’s football team helped the Virginia Army National Guard debut their new football jerseys Oct. 28, 2022, at a home game against John Handley High School in Bealeton, Virginia.
Staff Sgt. Dakota Baughan, area Virginia Army National Guard recruiter and a 2006 graduate of Liberty High School, secured the camouflage-patterned, Army National Guard-branded jerseys for Liberty’s use at their military appreciation game.
“I really enjoyed seeing my old high school being the first ones in the state to wear the Army National Guard jerseys,” Baughan said. “It was great seeing how much the coaches and players liked the jerseys. Seeing them run onto the field out of the same tunnel I did, wearing our jerseys while I was on the sideline, it was amazing.”
As a high school football player at Liberty, Baughan was coached by Tommy Buzzo, father to Liberty’s current coach, Travis Buzzo. As a longtime member of the Liberty High community, Baughan was called to the field between the first and second quarters.
“They wanted to recognize me for having a good relationship with the school and being a big part of the military appreciation night,” Baughan said.
For the past four years, he's recruited in the same area where he grew up and says the best part of his job is working with high school students.”
“My favorite part about being a recruiter is being able to get to know kids and help them plan for their future,” Baughan said. “I love being able to build relationships in my community.”
The jerseys will next be worn by Lebanon High School’s football team in Lebanon, Virginia, and are available for use across the state through local Army National Guard recruiters.
The Virginia Army National Guard is a unique dual-status force with a federal mission to provide a combat reserve for the U.S. Army and a state mission to provide a domestic response force to defend the commonwealth. Virginia Army National Guard Soldiers live, work and serve in the same communities and are often called upon to help their fellow citizens during times of need. National Guard Soldiers can also be federally mobilized for deployments both at home and abroad. Most members of the National Guard serve part-time, usually just one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer for annual training. The part-time nature of the National Guard means Soldiers can pursue careers and higher education goals while serving their nation, as well as their community and state. Learn more about the Virginia Army National Guard at va.ng.mil.