If dodging bullets on the battlefield wasn't enough danger and excitement, soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq will be riding bulls, roping and showing off their skills in the saddle this weekend when the Professional Armed Forces Rodeo Association blasts into town.
Take Val Baker. The U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel flew 17 combat missions in Iraq and earned a Bronze Star. She also is the Paint Horse Association world champion in several events.
Other contestants include active-duty soldiers who are spending part of their leave at the rodeo or who have done tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Cuba.
The Air Force is sending a news crew of five to cover the event, as well as a flight simulator. Most of the other military branches also are sending recruiters and equipment.
“This is a great opportunity for the people in our area to show their appreciation and gratitude to the women who serve our country," said Billy Huckaby, director of the Glen Rose Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The event had been in Fort Worth for the past several years, but decided to move to Glen Rose this year.
“If the event gets enough support, we hope to make it an annual event and build on it," Huckaby said.
Finals are on Saturday at 2 p.m .and 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. A free dance will follow the rodeo Saturday night.
Rodeo finals tickets cost $11 for adults, $9 for seniors, $5 for children 10 years and under and $5 with a military I.D.
Rodeo clinics will be held in conjunction with the finals. Bareback riding clinics will be held Saturday from 8 to 10 a.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon. Saddle bronc riding clinics will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Bull riding clinics will be held Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 10 a.m. to noon.
The cost is $75 for each event per session. The price includes tickets to the rodeo. You can register online at www.PAFRA2000.com. Minors must have a signed release, which is available on the Web site.
Call 897-4509 or visit www.glenroseexpo.com for more information.