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I Corps commander plays kickball and talks resiliency

Soldiers from HHC, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade play kickball with I Corps Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Xavier Brunson on Feb. 4 at Lewis North Athletic Complex. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Christina Westover

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD - The Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade and Lt. Gen. Xavier Brunson, commander of America's First Corps, played a friendly kickball tournament on Feb. 4 at Lewis North Athletic Complex.

The event was organized by the Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander, Capt. Grant Hendrix and the Raptor Brigade chaplain, Maj. Ryan Steenburg.

"I thought it would be fun to come out here as a company and when the Chaplain was able to get the Corps commander to come out I was ecstatic," Hendrix said. "It's not every day you get to play sports with the (Corps) commander."

Brunson was assigned a squad from the company and they played their first game against 16th CAB commander, Col. Shane Finison, and his squad to start off the company tournament. Despite the best efforts of Finison's squad, the Corps commander's team managed to run away with a victory.

Brunson's team once more notched a victory against Chief Warrant Officer 5 Barry Sledd's team before ultimately falling short in the championship against Raptor Brigade executive officer Maj. Merritt Thomas' squad.

At the conclusion of the tournament, Brunson spoke to the unit on the importance of what they do every day.

"The things you do every day might seem really, really simple, but I want you to know how special you are," said Brunson.

"You're out here this morning, you're in this Army and you're doing things other folks wouldn't do," Brunson said. "That makes you special. Sometimes you have to lift yourself up a little bit with that."

Brunson went on to relate kickball with resiliency and taking care of teammates in everyday life.

"The only thing that matters to (me) is that you take care of one another, just like you did out there on the field," he said.

"If someone misses the ball, you tell them ‘hey man, it's going to be alright,'" said Brunson. "We're going to have misses (in life) sometimes. We're all human. I want you all to keep taking care of each other."

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