Active duty

Pictured are Oswego resident Robert Taylor (left) and David Santel as part of active military during their careers overseas. Taylor and Santel will go head-to-head in the 'King of Battle' event on July 6.

SCRIBA — Military appreciation runs deep across the United States.

It’s important to support our military veterans — past and present — who serve and protect our country.

For Oswego’s Robert Taylor, currently part of the 42nd Infantry Division of the New York Army National Guard in Troy, that service will be showcased in a local event with his good friend David Santel, stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, as part of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division.

Benefitting the Veterans Outreach Program on a local and national level, Taylor will host Santel in a three-part event called “King of Battle,” which takes place on Saturday, July 6, behind the All Seasons Inn in Scriba.

Taylor and Santel met out at a basic course at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. The “King of Battle” name came from a field artillery course they participated in.

“We do a lot of these events in the service so this is kind of a regular event for us,” Taylor said.

The two military veterans will compete in a World War I/II obstacle course, a pugil stick fight, and three rounds of boxing.

“This is a new event that we’re trying to tie with the motel (All Seasons Inn) I purchased,” Taylor said.

The event will start at 4 p.m. with the obstacle course. The pugil stick battle will follow around 6 p.m., and the event will wrap up with boxing tentatively at 8 p.m.

The obstacle course will pay homage to battles including Iwo Jima, Pointe de Hoc, Belleau Wood, and a few more.

Taylor cleared five acres of land behind All Seasons Inn to make it look like a war zone.

“That’s how we want it, which is dug up for the most part,” he said.

Marine recruiters will facilitate the pugil stick fight. An American Gladiator-type activity, the participants will be heavily padded and duke it out with pole-like weapons.

The event will conclude with boxing. Taylor is in the process of setting up a boxing ring, as he will go three rounds against Santel.

Following the showcased event, local band Scars and Stripes out of Syracuse is set to perform around 8:45 p.m. Before the band goes on stage, a special award signed by MG Ferrari (commanding officer of the 42nd Infantry Division) will be presented to a local resident who has stepped up and helped to organize the event.

Most of the proceeds from the event will go to the Veterans Outreach Center in Utica, with the rest of money raised going to the Gary Sinise (Lt. Dan) Foundation.

“We put our heads together trying to get the community looking into the Veterans Outreach program,” Taylor said.

The Oswego American Legion will be on-site to run the 50/50 raffle. T.J. Burke’s donated material to make five picnic tables, built by Carpenters Local 277, which will be auctioned off as well.

Taylor and Santel each plan to donate 20 percent of their proceeds to the local and national Veterans Outreach programs they choose.

Taylor is a 22-year military veteran. Currently part of active drilling at the 42nd Infantry Division in Troy, his time with NYANG included two combat deployments in Afghanistan and an administrative deployment in the Ukraine.

The Oswego resident joined the Marine Corps in 1995. He took part in Operation Pacific Haven and the Kosovo Campaign. Following his time in the Marines, he joined the NYANG at the old armory in Oswego (currently the Oswego YMCA).

Santel is a native of Bartelso, Illinois. He is the brigade field artillery intelligence officer at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. Santel has been on five tours, three in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. A 15-year military veteran, Santel went through warrant officer courses in Germany, Fort Rucker (Alabama), and Fort Sill (Oklahoma).

The event will be limited to 500 attendees. Tickets can either be purchased at the All Seasons Inn or online at buytickets.at/kingofbattleevent/234653.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the event site.

Parking at the motel for the event will be limited. Parking will also be available at the Scriba Fire Barn, and a free shuttle bus from the barn to the event will begin at 3 p.m.

For more information, contact Taylor at 315-399-0470.

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