A person holding a coin at the army navy game.

Army Navy Game wrap-up: “Beat Navy, Sing Second” – John A. Cianci

by John A. Cianci, contributing writer, veterans issues

Photo: from a hoto by Carol Salemi

Army- Navy Game Events at Gillette Stadium and Providence RI

“Beat Navy, Sing Second” wrapped up the 124th Army-Navy game last night at Gillette Stadium as thousands of cadets and alumni sang. What a great time to be one of the 33 Seniors on the Army Football team concluding their college football career by joining in the traditional song by the winner of the Army-Navy game.

“Being a West Point graduate of 1990, over 30 years later hearing and singing this song still brings chills,” said Fred Bible Sr., one of the alma maters of West Point in attendance. Bible and his wife, Elizabeth, traveled from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to attend the game; housing and game tickets compliment of the Italian American War Veterans of the US.

Also attending the game was Rhode Island legend, Arlene Violet, Auxiliary member of the Italian American War Veterans of US. “This made my year,” said Violet. Violet had previously told John A Cianci, State Commander of the Italian American War Veterans of US, attending an Army game was one item still on her bucket list.

Although Violet had attended New England Patriot games in the past, she told RINEWSTODAY, “not in such an arrangement like this!” Violet’s donated ticket included full access to GP-Atrium before and during the game. 

CEO Challenge Coin presented to RINEWSTODAY, John A Cianci by CEO Tom Shull inside the AAFES suite at Gillette Stadium

Another veteran in attendance, a West Point graduate, Providence Journal veteran columnist, Frank Lennon, was frustrated in his efforts to obtain tickets. He told RINEWSTODAY as an alumni he even donated adequate funds to be allocated 6 tickets. However, even as a West Point alumni, he could not acquire tickets.

When called by the Italian American War Veterans of US, he immediately accepted the offer to attend the game as one of the organization’s guests.

Italian American War Veterans of US sponsored additional 30 other veterans to the game.

Without the donation of tickets by AAFES, USAA, RTX, and Mission Continues, our group of veterans , which included 3 WWII Veterans would not have been able to attend the game,” said Cianci.

Photo: Jose Hernandez, Director, Corporate Communications, Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), John A Cianci, RINEWSTODAY, and CEO Tom Shull, Army & Air Force Exchange Service RINEWSTODAY in the AAFES Suite (AAFES)

On the final play: “Obviously we had no timeouts, ball on the one, we tried a quarterback sneak, but it didn’t turn out in our favor. We had the play call but couldn’t get in the end zone. It comes down to a game of inches and disappointedly, that’s how it ended.” said Tai Lavatai, Navy Midshipmen senior quarterback. 

Lavatai ended his college career falling short by inches and having to sing the academy’s song first with thousands of cadets, alumni and fans.

The Kraft family and Gillette Stadium became part of history of the Army-Navy game. Those in attendance witnessed an historic event . From someone who has attended Army-Navy games for over 30 years, the 124thArmy-Navy game was by far the best one I ever attended. The Kraft family and Gillette Stadium have become part of history of the Army-Navy game.

Competitors fighting to the very end; Navy ran out of time to score a touchdown and 2 pointer.

The winner of the game, Army cadets followed the Midshipman by singing their alma mater second

Army’s season ended winning 4 in a row. 33 Army seniors concluded their college career singing the song that memories of this day at Gillette Stadium will send chills up their body.

The Commander In Chief Cup will be going back to West Point. 

America’s Game is over.

Go Army, Beat Navy!!!!!

Oh, we did beat Navy! Last night – at Gillette Stadium.

Final Score: Army 17. Navy 11 

Thank you Kraft family for NEVER GIVING UP to bring America’s game to New England


To read all columns in this series go to:  

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.