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Soldiers preparing for duty in Iraq

EL PASO, Texas -- Minnesota and Oregon each donated 1,000
Sun Bowl tickets to soldiers preparing for duty in Iraq.

Sun Bowl executive director Bernie Olivas said his organization
would provide additional free tickets for other soldiers who want
to go to Wednesday's football game.

"This is just such an awesome experience because it gives us a
chance to be around the true soldiers," Minnesota tight end Ben
Utecht said. "I just have so much respect for these men and
women."

The tickets will be offered to about 2,200 National Guard
members temporarily stationed in El Paso.

The soldiers, from units in Texas, California, Arizona and New
Mexico, will spend a year in Iraq, Col. Bryon Greenwald said.

The National Center for the Employment of the Disabled, an El
Paso company that makes chemical suits for the military, will
donate money to buy meals for soldiers who attend the game.