Pictured from left: Josh Langlois, Elizabeth Langlois, Bailey Spillman, Chuck Spillman, Paul Mainieri, Brandon Spillman, Lyndsey Spillman, Chloe Spillman.
LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri receives an engineer flag from Cpl. Brandon Spillman of the Louisiana Army National Guard. Spillman was joined during the presentation by several members of his family.
BATON ROUGE - LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri welcomed a special guest to his Alex Box Stadium office Thursday, as Cpl. Brandon Spillman of the Louisiana Army National Guard presented him with a flag from the 256th Brigade Special Troops Battalion deployed in Iraq.
The 256th Brigade Special Troops Battalion (BSTB) provides the brigade with its combat engineer, military intelligence, signal support and military police. The 256th BSTB also provides command, control and support to the Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company.
Spillman, a New Roads, La. resident who is on a two-week leave and returns to Iraq on Tuesday, said the flag was a token of appreciation for the support the soldiers received from Mainieri and his players. The flag features the image of a castle, the symbol of the engineer corps of the Army.
"Coach Mainieri and his players autographed an LSU flag and mailed it to us in Iraq," Spillman explained. "It meant so much to us to know that the Tigers were thinking of us back home. We wanted to return the favor with the engineer flag signed by our entire company."
A photo of the soldiers with the LSU flag in Iraq was displayed on the Alex Box Stadium video board during one of the Tigers' games this season.
Spillman was joined in Mainieri's office during Thursday's presentation by his wife Lyndsey, his daughters Bailey and Chloe, his father Chuck, his brother-in-law Josh Langlois and his sister-in-law Elizabeth Langlois.
"We are extremely honored to receive this flag from Cpl. Spillman and are humbled by this gesture," Mainieri said. "Our soliders in Iraq and around the world are real heroes, and we're thankful every day for their unselfish service to our country."