Some may say it’s a normal, nondescript and uneventful Friday morning at northern Utah’s Hill Air Force Base. There’s a bit of cloud cover and a cool breeze, but it’s quiet.
The quiet is short-lived as an F-16 fighter jet takes off and flies overhead. Or perhaps it’s the F-35. I’m not quite sure. It’s no matter. The realization that these are the final days of the iconic F-16 stay in Utah, only adds to the reverent atmosphere.
That reverence has an extra special feel to it today, however.
Today, the military instillation welcomes esteemed guests, who honor its residents and active-duty military.
I enter the instillation’s fitness facility, knowing what’s to come. A handful, perhaps a dozen or so, individuals go about their workouts on the elliptical machines, stationary bikes and weights. Most have been warned that the facility will close within the hour and many more have been given notice far in advance. Which is a testament to why the patrons are scarce today.
As I proceed with my workout, I have a bird’s eye view of the courts that will, in a few hours, host the hustle and bustle of the Utah Jazz team and military onlookers. I’ll use the word reverence again, to describe what I feel as my eyes take in what lies before me.
It really isn’t anything special to look at. It’s just a gym. However, it’s the feeling of respect and veneration emanating from it that makes it truly special. Additionally, for a fan like myself, an air of excitement and warmth permeates the atmosphere.
In a few short hours, the Utah Jazz will hold their annual intrasquad scrimmage in front of a few hundred of our nation’s active duty military personnel. That in and of itself is worthy of note and special attention. Credit goes to the organization for putting on this wonderful event on behalf of those who serve our great country.
I’ve learned they’ve since opened the event to additional civilian personnel to attend. However, I hope that the privilege and honor of attending is given first to those who represent our nation’s military. The honor is due them and this event is for them.
Let me take a moment and commend the Utah Jazz, the Miller family and Steve Starks for organizing this event. Thank you for giving and serving the community and great state of Utah. Thank you for representing the community in exemplar fashion.
Additionally, I offer sincere gratitude to the men and women who serve the United States of America. You have my deepest respect and admiration. You honor us, me, through your service.
The scrimmage also represents the end of training camp and transition to preseason and on to the regular season. Summer has faded. Autumn has arrived and with it, the sights and sounds of the return of the NBA season.