Warriors and Rodeo members were honored during the June 23 Mesquite Championship Rodeo military appreciation night.

Shane Eads – Army veteran, Purple Heart recipient, EMT, and firefighter – competed in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association bull-riding event. Army sergeant John Miller competed in PRCA’s steer wrestling. Additionally, Miller and Army veteran Randall Mosley went head to head in the Champion’s Challenge in steer wrestling. Eads competed against Navy veteran Louie Blankinship in the Champion’s Challenge bull ride, as well.

Also featured in an exhibition saddle bronc ride was active-duty Marine Clifford Miles.

Mesquite Championship Rodeo, operated by Travis Wheat, awarded each of the participants a buckle to honor their service.

“Mesquite Rodeo gave them red-carpet treatment with honoring them in and out of the arena and awarded each of them with a buckle for their military service to America,” said Sheri Smith, Navy veteran and WAR founding president. “To be awarded a buckle for your military service is a very rare thing and we appreciate Mesquite Rodeo honoring them in this way.”

Mesquite Rodeo additionally raffled a patriotic buckle commemorating the event. The amount raised from the raffle has not yet been released.

Mesquite Championship Rodeo’s military appreciation night’s inclusion of WAR was facilitated through a longstanding partnership with Ned “Pepper” Stewart of “The Pepper Stewart Show,” a ranch and rodeo lifestyle talk show, and Smith’s sports agency SmithPRO LLC.

Stewart, Mesquite Rodeo commentator, opened his suite at the arena for the WAR members and their families to watch the event. Stewart also conducted exclusive interviews with the participating members, which will be aired on “The Pepper Stewart Show.”


Hanna Smith is editorial director of Honor Duty Press. She is an award-winning journalist and studies neurobiology, surgical technology, physiology, and behavioral science.