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Utah-based coffee retailer Lock-n-Load Java has signed on as a sponsor for Friday's Armed Forces Bowl in Dallas, featuring the BYU Cougars against the Tulsa University Golden Hurricane.

Company founder Carl Churchill is a combat veteran with 21 years of service as both an enlisted soldier and officer.

"We are very proud to be a sponsor of the Armed Forces Bowl, with its strong military focus. I am especially proud that part of our sponsorship fee goes toward providing free tickets to members of the military," Churchill said in a statement.

Churchill, a University of Utah MBA graduate of the David Eccles School of Business, sees the irony of a lifelong Ute fan sponsoring a bowl that features BYU.

"Even though we are hard-core Ute fans, we are excited because this looks to be a great game between two prolific offenses," said Churchill. "We had planned on adding hot cocoa to our product mix in 2012, but when we found out BYU was playing in the Armed Forces Bowl — we put that on the fast track."

Lock-n-Load Java will be debuting its Red Thunder Natural Cocoa Mix and Green Thunder Mint Cocoa Mix at the game.

The company provides specialty grade coffee (and now cocoa) primarily to the military community worldwide, while supporting charities that help wounded warriors coming back from combat and the families of those service members killed.

Lock-n-Load Java products are available exclusively via the Internet at