Justin Bokmeyer, a Denver Outlaws midfielder, recently took time to do an interview with The Capital Sports Report. His interview is about his military and lacrosse career.
TCSR: When you were being recruited, why did you choose to attend the United States Military Academy (Army)?
JB: “A lot of reasons went into my decision. First, I decided to go there for lacrosse. I also liked the family atmosphere that the school offered me. In addition, it is a very good school.”
TCSR: Were you recruited by the other military schools, such as Navy and the Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which is close to your home in California?
JB: “No, I was just recruited by Army, besides other schools. Navy and Air Force did not offer me a scholarship.”
TCSR: Many athletes go into the field and not play professionally. Did that come into your decision?
JB: “Lacrosse was a deciding factor in my decision. Plus, it is a job after work.”
TCSR: Could you talk about your Iraqi deployment with the Army?
JB: “I spent one-year over in Iraq. I was a platoon leader, so I had to train and teach those that were in my platoon. We also helped the Iraqi police in taking over their country again. We were just advising them.”
TCSR: Were you over there before this stint?
JB: “It was my first trip there. Before I arrived, my brothers were in a combat role. Whatever they needed, we assisted on. It was a joint patrol with our patrols and their patrols working together. We also helped advise them with different tactics.”
TCSR: When you were in Iraq, how did you continue to play lacrosse?
JB: “I kept it separate. I would play on the walls. I was deployed with another Army lacrosse player, so we would practice with each other.”
TCSR: Did you talk to the Iraq people about lacrosse?
JB: “No, not really. I did, however, talk to them about soccer. They love soccer over there. When the kids are playing soccer, it brings so much joy to their faces.”
TCSR: After your military stint, you got picked up by the Denver Outlaws. Could you talk about signing with them?
JB: “It was an honor, especially being a few years removed from college. I was three-years removed from college when I got the call. To be honest, I was wishing something would work out, but I didn’t know when, so I kept focusing on my Army assignments. But it is good to be with the Outlaws.”
TCSR: Are the Outlaws the only team you’ve been with in the professional ranks?
JB: “I was with the 2008 San Francisco Dragons team, then they folded. I went back to doing my military career, Then, when I came back, I was lucky to sign with the Outlaws.”
TCSR: Being with the military, you can be called at a moments notice. How does that affect your Outlaws job?
JB: “They are very supporting. They know I might have to miss a game or more due to my military job. I am very lucky to have such a supportive group within the Outlaws that know I might have to leave.”
TCSR: Since you’ve been with the Outlaws, have you had to miss a game due to your military job?
JB: “No, not yet. They will let me go, as long as I get everything gone.”
TCSR: Being that there’s so many lacrosse leagues these days, have you ever thought about playing the indoor game?
JB: “I have never thought about playing in the National Lacrosse League. All I know is the outdoor game. I never played the indoor game at a high level, as I’ve done with the outdoor game.”
TCSR: Do you know if you are the only player in the Major League Lacrosse that is in this situation with the military and a professional lacrosse job?
JB: “No, there are a few others. Bill Henderson with the Rochester Rattlers is another one. Jeremy Boltus of the Charlotte Hounds is another. There might be one or two more that I am missing.”
TCSR: Are you the only player on the Outlaws in this situation?
JB: “No, Adam Fullerton is also in the same situation. He is not currently with the team and is serving our country overseas. He’ll be back. I believe he’ll be back within the next few months.”
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