United States Military Academy to Host 2nd Annual Captain John Hallett Memorial Tournament on March 5

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WEST POINT, N.Y. -- The United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. will host the 2nd Annual Captain John Hallett Memorial Tournament on March 5.  The tournament will feature teams from Army, Severn School, Greenwich School, Fordham University, New York Athletic Club (NYAC), Asphalt Green, Cornell University, Boston University, Columbia University and St. Francis College (N.Y.) in a one-day, 17-game event to raise money for Team Red, White & Blue.

A non-profit veteran support organization whose mission is to enrich the lives of wounded veterans and their families, Team Red, White & Blue aims to transform the way wounded veterans are reintegrated into society when they return from combat and exit their position in the Active Duty force or National Guard.

The event commemorates and remembers the legacy of Capt. John Hallett, a past water polo captain at Army, who lost his life at the age of 30 on on August 25, 2009 in Southern Afghanistan.

"John was the team captain when I was a Yearling (sophomore)," notes Army water polo coach Matt Price, who organized and is a driving force behind the event.  

"John was not only the most inspirational captain I have ever played under, he was also a tremendous friend to everyone.  His inspiration extended far beyond the pool.  I did and still do think of him and things he said often.  Many of his words helped me through some of the toughest challenges I have faced."

An inveterate organizer,according to his wife, Lisa, in an October 25, 2009 article in the Los Angeles Times,  John L. Hallett III "always left the house with pen and paper, ready to make a list."

Hallett was born at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and grew up in Concord, northeast of San Francisco, where he played basketball at St. Agnes Elementary School and water polo at De La Salle High School.

During his final year at West Point, the 6-foot-1 Hallett was captain of the water polo team, where he was "the focal point and the individual that grew their team and made them competitive," noted Collegiate Water Polo Association Commissioner Daniel Sharadin.

At West Point, Hallett earned All-New York Division First Team honors in 1999 and helped the Black Knights win back-to-back New York Division titles in 1998 and 1999 to join the 2000 and 2001 Army teams as the only programs to win consecutive championships in the history of the division.

"He was  always such a great leader as well as a player. Both John and his brother Tom (Villanova University) played in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) and made tremendous contributions," noted Sharadin.

In 2001, Hallett graduated and received his commission, embracing the motto of his class: "Till duty is done."

Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at Ft. Lewis, Wash., his duty to country was matched only by his love of family and friends.

A story in the September 9, 2009 Tacoma News Tribune, notes the epitome of this attitude as he summoned the battalion rear detachment commander into his office days before the unit deployed to Afghanistan in July. He had two requests for Capt. Franky Kim - Hallett wanted constant updates about the soldiers back at Fort Lewis, and he wanted Kim to contact him as quickly as possible after Hallett's wife gave birth.

"That conversation I had with Capt. Hallett reflected perfectly the kind of man he was," Kim noted. "It exemplified not only his eagerness to take care of soldiers, but also the love he devoted to his family."

In Afghanistan, Hallett gained a reputation of befriending anybody near him, including construction workers at Kandahar Air Field and the laundry staff at Forward Operating Base Frontenac, where his unit was based.

On August 25, 2009, Hallett was among a group of soldiers that arrived at a cholera-stricken area in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan, to provide injections to sick villagers. A massive bomb hidden in a culvert underneath the road ripped through the Stryker vehicle he was travelling in as his unit returned to their base, instantly killing all four soldiers on board.

Also killed were Capt. Cory J. Jenkins, 30, of Mesa, Ariz.; Sgt. 1st Class Ronald W. Sawyer, 38, of Trenton, Mo.; and Pfc. Dennis M. Williams, 24, of Federal Way, Wash.

Hallett's father, John L. Hallett II, noted about the humanitarian mission, "Knowing my son, he volunteered.".

"They were not only executing the infantry task of tying in with the local forces to improve the security situation," said Lt. Col. Jonathan Newman. "They were also demonstrating our compassion to the people of the Shah Wali Kot district by providing medical expertise."

Soon after Hallett died, the Army released a statement from his wife, Lisa, that stated,"Capt. John Louis Hallett III was an amazing father, devoted and joyful husband, thoughtful son, loving brother and inspiring friend. . . . He would always put the needs of others before his own. He was a patient teacher to our children."

"He had the warmest and most genuine smile. John would always make people laugh by his clever ways and kind humor. He was the support system for his family. From his years at West Point through his military career, John loved the challenge of being in the army and knowing that he had the opportunity to serve his country and help others through leadership, example, and duty. John felt a strong commitment to serve the country he loved."

In addition to his wife, Hallett is survived by two sons, Jackson, 5, and Bryce, 3, along with a daughter daughter, Heidi, who was born in August, 2009 and whom he never got to meet.

Price notes, "As a West Point graduate John made the ultimate sacrifice and his memory will not be forgotten."

"The Army water polo team honors him not only with this memorial event, but we also wear his initials on the backs of our game caps.  John was always a charitable person, so it seems appropriate that his event is a charitable one."

Following the completion of the tournament, John Hallett II, father of Capt. Hallett, will present the awards to the competing teams.

More information about Team Red, White & Blue is available online at http://teamrwb.com/

Interested parties can donate directly to Team Red, White & Blue in memory of Captatin Hallett at:

2011 Capt. John Hallett Memorial Tournament

Teams are divided into three brackets:

Bracket A

Bracket B

Bracket C

1st Seed - NYAC

2nd Seed - St. Francis

3rd Seed - Fordham

4th Seed - Greenwich

5th Seed - Asphalt Green

6th Seed - Severn

7th Seed - Army

8th Seed - Cornell

7th Seed - Columbia

10th Seed - Boston University

 

 
 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Game No.

Location

9:00

1st Seed - NYAC

vs.

10th Seed - Boston University

1

IM

10:00

4th Seed - Greenwich

vs.

7th Seed - Army

2

IM

11:00

2nd Seed - St. Francis

vs.

8th Seed - Cornell

3

IM

Noon

3rd Seed - Fordham

vs.

9th Seed - Columbia

4

IM

1:00

4th Seed - Greenwich

vs.

10th Seed - Boston University

5

IM

1:00

1st Seed - NYAC

vs.

7th Seed - Army

6

CR

2:00

5th Seed - Asphalt Green

vs.

8th Seed - Cornell

7

IM

2:00

6th Seed - Severn

vs.

9th Seed - Columbia

8

CR

3:00

1st Seed - NYAC

vs.

4th Seed - Greenwich

9

IM

3:00

7th Seed - Army

vs.

10th Seed - Boston University

10

CR

4:00

2nd Seed - St. Francis

vs.

5th Seed - Asphalt Green

11

IM

4:00

3rd Seed - Fordham

vs.

6th Seed - Severn

12 CR

5:00

1st in Bracket B

vs.

1st in Bracket C

13

IM
5:00 2nd in Bracket B vs. 2nd in Bracket C 14 CR
6:00 3rd in Bracket B vs. 3rd in Bracket C 15 IM
6:00 1st Bracket A vs. Winner Game 13 First Place CR
7:00 2nd in Bracket A vs. Winner Game 14 Fourth Place IM
7:45 Award Ceremony - Presented by John Hallett, father of Capt. John Hallett

IM - Intramural Pool ; CR - Crandall Pool

 


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