FRISCO — The National Football League’s season is in full-swing, but that did not stop the Dallas Cowboys franchise from taking time out to support those who serve our country and their families, hosting a baby shower for expectant mothers.
The Cowboys held a two-day “Salute to Service” baby shower Friday and Saturday for four pregnant Soldiers and a pregnant Fort Hood spouse at The Star, their headquarters here. The guests of honor were pampered, served a private lunch with staff, and even had a meet-and-greet with players.
“It’s really awesome what they are doing for the military and their families,” Gabi Lopez said, an eight-year Army veteran and spouse of Staff Sgt. Vidal Lopez, who is deployed with the 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade. “It was pretty difficult that my husband just deployed last week, and when I got the call that I was selected as one of the participants for this event it really helped balance it out.”
The knowledge of having a spouse potentially missing the birth of their first child, and possibly even the first few months of the child’s life is a very sensitive subject, Lopez said. She knows this lifestyle isn’t easy but with the help of others, she can get through it.
“We like to recognize all service members and veterans, whether past or present, and their families,” Whitney Faulkner, the Dallas Cowboys’ public relations and community relations program manager, said. “The children, spouses and even extended family deserves appreciation for what they do.”
The weekend began with a ride from Fort Hood in the personal charter bus of Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys. The expectant mothers were given a complimentary stay at the Omni Frisco Hotel, as well as receiving various baby gifts, to include a personalized football jersey and newborn onesie. The women were also gifted baby items and clothes from the Dallas Cowboys charity.
In the spirit of pampering, the moms-to-be were pampered with a free makeover at the Tangerine Salon, where they had the undivided attention of a team of highly trained professional hairdressers and make-up artists.
Fully primped and glossed, the ladies were given the opportunity to see behind the scenes of the Dallas Cowboys and watch a bit of their practice. As the guests of honor, the women were given the opportunity to breakdown the team’s huddle, and then met the entire team.
“The Dallas Cowboys love to show their appreciation for the U.S. military and what they do,” Jason Garrett, head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, said during the final huddle of practice.
The athletes, including players Ezekiel Elliot, Dak Prescott and Jason Witten, signed autographs and posed for pictures with the Soldiers and spouse. For Cowboys mega-fan and mom-to-be Spc. Alicia Key-Jones, assigned to the 3rd Brigade Engineer Battalion, this experience is something she will always brag about to her baby.
“She really got gifts from the Cowboys. Mommy really got to meet Zeke,” Key-Jones exclaimed referring to the Cowboys running back. “I have been a Cowboys fan forever. I was originally an alternate for this event so it is a blessing to be here.”
Pregnancy and the demands of the military are not an easy combination for families to endure. The experience can be stressful for expectant Soldiers and the pregnant spouses who have Soldiers serving overseas. Through the “Salute to Service” weekend, not only were the women given a once-in-a-lifetime experience, they created connections with other women whose experience is as unique as their own.
“I haven’t had many other pregnant moms around me,” Lopez said. “I only had my husband. It means a lot to be around women that I have something in common with; being an expectant mother. I just want to thank the Cowboys so much for this opportunity.”
The fun will continue when the women will be on the sidelines cheering for the Cowboys at their next home game against the Minnesota Vikings during Monday night football.