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Minn. Brothers Recognized For Bringing BMX To Soldiers

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota family is getting some national recognition for helping troops overseas. Zach and Christian Schauf will be featured on CBS Courage in Sports this Sunday.

For the last five years, these two brothers and business partners have provided entertainment for deployed troops in some of the most dangerous areas of the Middle East.

On Friday morning, Zach Schauf worked from his computer in his St. Louis Park home, but his focus was half a world away.

“It’s always fun to look back at everything and see reactions on the guys’ faces,” he said.

His computer is filled with pictures of athletes and soldiers overseas, all memories from a show called Bikes over Baghdad.

“Essentially, we take some of the top action sports athletes in the world, go overseas to Middle East, build big skate parks and put on these big shows for the soldiers,” Schauf said.

His company, Trovata Entertainment Inc., provides this escape for our deployed troops.

The show gives military members a few hours to forget the danger that often surrounds them.

“We’ve been through awful conditions over there. We’ve been shot at, rockets shot at our planes, we’ve had mortar attacks. These guys live in that stuff day to day,” Schauf said. “So, to bring in something that’s a release from that, and to see impact in their lives, it’s incredible.”

The show features high flying tricks by 12-15 pro BMX bikers who volunteer their time to entertain the troops. The group even builds the ramps on location.

Bikes over Baghdad has built such a following, it’s now getting attention back here in the United States.

Schauf and his family will be featured in this year’s CBS Courage in Sports, a show that honors some of the most inspiring and uplifting stories involving sports.

“I don’t think we’d ever consider ourselves being courageous or anything like that,” Schauf said. “We’ve never really been in it for the recognition.”

It’s recognition that’s not so easily accepted. The Schauf brothers are just focused on the next show.

“I think we’ve been given the opportunity to help some other people and make people’s lives better,” he said.

You can see more about Bikes over Baghdad during CBS’s Courage in Sports show. It’ll be on Sunday on WCCO at 4 p.m.

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