Sept. 13, 2004
- Krause family gifts $5 million to Kinnick
- Learn more about the renovation of Kinnick Stadium
- Learn more about the Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series
- Purchase your Iowa Football tickets online
- Learn more about “The Patch”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Every Monday, hawkeyesports.com will bring readers a Kinnick Stadium Memory from the thousands of stories that have been submitted to the website for the 75th Anniversary of Kinnick Stadium.
Writing from the Al Dhafra Airbase in the United Arab Emirates in July, 1st Lt. Brian Webster told hawkeyesports.com that his best Kinnick Stadium memory hadn’t even happened yet.
Although he had been a season-ticket holder for a year, Webster was still deployed to West Africa in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and was coming back to Iowa to see the Hawkeyes take on Iowa State last Saturday. That day, he said, was going to be the best.
Webster missed the first game of the season, but he was able to catch the Throwback Game on the internet from a conference room in the airbase with 10 of his fellow officers.
“This was my first time I was actually deployed overseas,” Webster said. “It’s a whole different world when you get out of the United States, especially in a Muslim-based Middle Eastern country. You’re far away and you really miss your family, so any small piece of home is just so nice to see.”
Just a week later, he was with his dad, his brother and his brother’s girlfriend tailgating by the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics across from the historic stadium, after a 4 ½-hour drive from Council Bluffs that started at 3 o’clock in the morning.
“It’s one of those things about getting on with life and doing what we do – enjoying all the freedoms and luxuries we have here in the United States. It’s kind of something we should really do on Sept. 11, to really think about things and enjoy the things we have and how wonderful we have it here in Iowa.”
USAF 1st Lt. Brian Webster
“We really just enjoy the whole day,” Webster said. “It’s a long day for us, getting up early and driving out here. But we have time to talk in the car and share stories between my dad, my brother and I. It’s just a lot of fun to spend time on the way here and the way back. We make a whole day of it.”
“It’s good to have him back,” Russell Webster, Brian’s father, said. “I think it’s wonderful that he as the heart to serve his country. I can remember letting this little boy off in front of a great big building when he first joined and I thought, `Oh my, this is going to be something.’ But we’re real proud of what he’s accomplished.”
Russell got his son involved in Iowa football as a child, the exact same way Russell was indoctrinated by his father.
“We’ve been Hawkeye fans our whole lives and in fact my grandfather just died this past year, and we realized at the funeral that there were generations of Hawkeye fans,” Brian said. “Hopefully, we’ll pass on the same tradition to our kids.”
Last Saturday was the third anniversary of the September 11th, 2001, Terrorist Attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Congress has subsequently named the date “Patriots’ Day,” and that had special meaning for Webster, who was the Executive Officer of the 380 EOG and handled reviewing documents for the group commander.
“It’s one of those things about getting on with life and doing what we do – enjoying all the freedoms and luxuries we have here in the United States,” he said. “It’s kind of something we should really do on Sept. 11, to really think about things and enjoy the things we have and how wonderful we have it here in Iowa.
“It’s great,” Webster added. “When you get out to other parts of the world, you really realize how good we have it, so it’s pretty amazing.”
Barry Pump, hawkeyesports.com