Professional team ropers Charly Crawford and Trey Johnson invite military veterans to a free clinic that offers so much more than roping.
Retired Staff Sergeant Michael Hall sat at a gas station outside of Oklahoma City in the fall of 2015, with his one horse in tow, in route to Charly Crawford and Trey Johnson’s free Military Team Roping School in Stephenville, Texas. He had just filled up his truck, and as he sat staring at his steering wheel that early morning, he fought off a strong inclination to turn around and head back home to Independence, Kansas.
Hall was a 19D Calvary scout in the Army—he was on the front lines as a Bradley commander, driving a tank in South Baghdad. He has a Purple Heart and an Army Commendation Medal with Valor, and he’d survived in some of the world’s harshest conditions.
“But this roping thing really got under my skin,” Hall admitted, who wasn’t accustomed to failure. So Hall, a father of five with kids just starting to junior rodeo, got back on I-35 and headed south to Stephenville, fighting off the demons of doubt that plagued his confidence.
“I had been to the practice pen some, and I’d tracked a lot of cattle, and really started learning position. I’d track steers and rope the dummy, but I had never turned one before I went to Charly’s.”
Now, two years and two Charly Crawford and Trey Johnson Military Team Roping Schools later, Hall just won the first round of the team roping at the Professional Armed Forces Rodeo Association Finals, and he’s built lifelong bonds with Crawford, Johnson, and his fellow military team ropers.
their resources to make more of a difference in the lives of military men and women. Charly’s dad served, and being grateful to the men and women who risk their lives for our country had always been close to his heart.
“We’ve had guys like that around the house. Those guys are willing to die for us. I’m passionate enough about guys who are badass enough.”
Tapping into his passions for service and for team roping, Crawford hosted his first school with then-partner and two-time WNFR heeler Shay Carroll in 2013, usually in Crawford’s home arena in Stephenville. (Rain caused Crawford to cancel the school in 2016, and in 2017 Lonestar Arena donated their arena to Crawford for use when rain was in the forecast again.) Johnson, a fulltime traveling minister and former PRCA Resistol Rookie of the Year, joined with Crawford in 2014.