Forward Brian Singler was wearing a uniform long before he suited up to play for AFC Mobile.
Not only is Singler a deputy sheriff in Baldwin County, he is also a sergeant in the Army National Guard, a veteran of the War on Terror, and a military police officer.
This military has always been a part of Singler’s life. His father was a career Navy man and provided the inspiration for Singler to join the the armed forces, though he didn’t join the National Guard until he was 33.
“I’ve always had that desire,” Singler said. “It’s always been back there, a feeling of wanting to do it.”
Singler said that the most rewarding thing about being a part of the National Guard is being able to do something to serve more than just the Mobile Bay area and Alabama.
“I love this nation,” Singler said. “I went overseas in 2015 to 2016 and now I feel when people say ‘thank you for your service’ I can say ‘no problem’ or I can have something for them to be thankful for. Just to be able to serve this country is the most fulfilling to me.”
Soccer has been a part of Singler’s life as long as the military has. Both of his parents played, and he’s been playing since he was four years old. He moved to Baldwin County 20 years ago and takes pride in representing the Mobile area on the pitch.
“To represent this city, there’s no words that can express that. The team that we have, the brothers; we have a good bond. It’s almost like Christmas morning every time you put that jersey on.”
Balancing his day job as a deputy sheriff, his military duties, and his commitments to AFC Mobile has been a challenge, but Singler said he’s found the secret.
“Well, I have understanding bosses and an understanding wife as well,” he said. “They know how much I love this sport and how much of a part of my life it is and the passion I have for the sport.”
This Saturday, June 10th, AFC Mobile will be honoring the men and women in the armed forces by holding its first ever Military Appreciation Night. Kickoff against Biloxi City FC at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex is at 7 p.m. All veterans and active duty personnel are admitted free with their military ID. As always, kids 12 and under are also admitted free. All other tickets are just $5.