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Cardinals players visit Luke AFB

(KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- Soldiers and their families at Luke Air Force Base had a little treat Tuesday, when several Arizona Cardinals players held a meet-and-greet at the base.

Sam Acho, Karlos Dansby, Andre Roberts, Mike Gibson, Lyle Sendlein, Daryn Colledge and Jonathan Cooper got an up-close look at F-16 aircraft and a hangar, and then posed for pictures and autographs.

Texas fan Sgt. Ryan Gonzalez was especially happy to meet Sendlein, a former Longhorn star player.

"We talked a little bit about the national championship in 2005 and the one that got away in 2009," Gonzalez said. "Hopefully, the Longhorns will go to the Fiesta Bowl this year. If they do, I will be there."

The tour was special for wide receiver Roberts.

"Both of my parents are in the Army, and I went to the Citadel, which is a military school," Roberts said. "I know a whole bunch of guys who are fighting for this country as well. To come out here and support these guys, it means a lot to me."

Dansby, a linebacker, said he jumped at the chance to come out on the players' day off to show their support for the military.

"The sacrifices that these guys are making just for our freedom and the preparation that they have to go through in training...it's perfect," Dansby remarked.

Dansby said football players have something in common with the soldiers. He said that, just like playing for the Cardinals, keeping an F-16 in the air takes teamwork.

"You have to be on the same page and your communication has to be on point," Dansby said. "You can't make a mistake, man."

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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