The Navy team has a group of players living in Annapolis and a separate group in the Norfolk, Va., area. Gary Vinciguerra, the coach of the Navy team, has practiced only once with his full team in attendance.

“It's been tough. We'll definitely be the underdogs,” said Vinciguerra, an assistant coach at Division III Widener in Chester, Pa., and a former Midshipmen safety. “But we've got some great athletes and guys with a lot of heart. It'll be fun.”

For Dobbs, the entire event will carry a deeper meaning.

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Preparing for the game has brought back fond memories, but the event's purpose is just as important.

Dobbs has friends who have gotten out of the military and struggled to find jobs and to begin a new chapter in their lives. It's a struggle he hopes to help by playing in Saturday's game, and also a struggle he'll soon be a part of.

“It'll be fun and all, but it's for an important cause,” Dobbs said. “I didn't hesitate to help out. I mean, hey, I'll be a veteran one day soon, too.”

Military Appreciation Night

1 p.m.-4 p.m.: Judge VIP Speed Career Networking event for military veterans in the Cadillac Grille in the Wells Fargo Center. Details:, 800.650.0035.

3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.: Stars And Stripes Fan Fest at Cure Club with military interactive areas and displays, as well as live entertainment featuring a performance from Biz Markie from 5p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

6 p.m.: Arena Football League game (Philadelphia Soul vs. Iowa Barnstormers)

After the AFL game: Army veterans vs. Navy veterans full-contact game

This article originally listed the wrong name for Marty Judge, a minority owner of the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.