Not All Who Wander Are Lost – A Trophy Story

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There are few things truer than America’s love for football and unwavering support for our Armed Forces. Tuesday, Dec. 29, we’ll honor both during the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas. But as the coveted championship trophy prepares for its new home with a newly crowned Bowl champion, it’s taken the last few months to travel coast-to-coast visiting veterans and Lockheed Martin employees, while taking in the local sites and getting a sneak peek at what Lockheed Martin has behind the curtain.

Since September 15, the Armed Forces Bowl trophy has made stops from Orlando, Florida, to Sunnyvale, California, to excite college football fans everywhere about the upcoming bowl season and most importantly the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. If you follow @LockheedMartin or #LMAFB, you may have seen some of its adventures on Twitter and Facebook.

During one if its first stops, the trophy found its way to the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Menlo Park, California. Accompanied by Lockheed Martin volunteers, the trophy was welcomed with thrill and excitement.

“It really impressed me to see the veterans’ reactions to the trophy,” said Ivan Aguirre Batres, a member of the Manufacturing Support Team with the Fleet Ballistic Missile Program at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “It brought back the feeling of camaraderie that I experienced when I was an active duty U.S. Marine."

AFB Trophy with Veterans at Menlo Park

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl trophy with veterans and Lockheed Martin employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Menlo Park, California.

"It also helped to remind me of the reasons why I am working here," elaborated Batres. "I believe Lockheed Martin’s values are very well aligned with the military’s values which helped to make it a very smooth transition for me to join the Lockheed Martin community.”

Back on the east coast, the trophy hit the open road on the Lockheed Martin Littoral Combat Ship commemorative Harley Davidson to check out the sites of Washington, D.C. Before it bid farewell to our nation’s capital, however, it stopped to take a selfie with the Lockheed Martin Military/Veterans Forum gathered in honor of Veterans Day and their annual meeting.

As the trophy’s made its way around the country, it has also had the opportunity to go “back stage” at many Lockheed Martin facilities, such as the OSIRIS-REx cleanroom (bunny suit and all) in Denver, the Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training Innovation Demonstration Center in Orlando (flight simulator, anyone?), and…while it’s not telling…it may have had a peek at what Skunk Works ® is working on these days while in Palmdale, California.

AFB in Sunnyvale

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl trophy with OSIRIS-REx at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Denver, Colorado.

AFB Trophy at MST

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl trophy in the Innovation Demonstration Center at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training in Orlando, Florida.

AFB in Palmdale

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl trophy with the commemorative Littoral Combat Ship Harley Davidson in Bethesda, Maryland.

Now back home in Fort Worth, Texas, the trophy anxiously awaits its big day, Dec. 29, when the Air Force Falcons and University of California Golden Bears go head-to-head at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Its final home is yet to be determined, but with much of the country under its belt, the trophy is sure to feel right at home no matter where its travel case lands later this month.

Forged from combat-tested metal and steel from all five branches of the United States Armed Forces, the Armed Forces Bowl trophy represents honor and bravery. It is a testament to the dedication of our military men and women around the world and a steadfast reminder that freedom isn’t free. Lockheed Martin is proud to be title sponsor of the Armed Forces Bowl for the second year in a row. We never forget who we’re working for, and this is no ordinary bowl game. Learn more about the Armed Forces Bowl.

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Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl trophy supported by FORTIS at Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, Florida.

Manassass

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl trophy at Mission Systems & Training in Manassas, Virginia.

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Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl trophy with the F-35 Lightning II at Aeronautics in Fort Worth, Texas.
 

Owego

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl trophy at MIssion Systems & Training in Owego, New York.

Bethesda

Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO Marillyn Hewson with the Armed Forces Bowl trophy in Bethesda, Maryland.

AFB Trophy with F-16

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl trophy with an F-16 at Aeronautics in  Fort Worth, Texas.