Military Background Shapes Fontbonne Soccer Player

The Fuller family moved to Fort Hamilton this summer. Lily, pictured with her parents, Warwick and Heather, plays for the Fontbonne Hall Academy varsity soccer team. (Photo: Courtesy of the Fuller family)

For Veterans Day, we celebrate the sacrifice of men and women in the military who put the safety and well-being of others ahead of their own.

We also acknowledge the sacrifice made by families of active military personnel who willingly show their support no matter the situation.

One of those families is the Fuller family, which moved to Fort Hamilton in Bay Ridge over the summer. Warwick Fuller is a U.S. Army Chaplain Captain who has been on active duty for the past eight and a half years.

As a result, the family has moved all over the country based on Warwick’s assignments. Living in Brooklyn has allowed Warwick’s daughter, Lily, to become a member of the Fontbonne Hall Academy, Bay Ridge, varsity soccer team.

Warwick and Heather Fuller – both originally from Pennsylvania – have four children: Claire, 17, who graduated from high school and is applying to college; Lily, 16, a sophomore at Fontbonne; Alice, 12, a student at St. Patrick’s Catholic Academy, Bay Ridge; and Ewan, 8, also a student at St. Patrick’s.

The family arrived in Brooklyn in July, and immediately Lily participated in workouts with the Bonnies soccer team. One of her first experiences in Brooklyn was trying to find a field in a park she’s never been to while battling the dreaded New York City traffic.

“I’ve been playing since I was little, and it really turned into a passion for playing the sport,” said Lily, a midfielder on the Fontbonne squad. “It has been great for building teamwork and connecting with other girls. I made a lot of friends throughout the country through soccer.”

Prior to Brooklyn, the family lived at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Additional residences include Pennsylvania while Warwick was in the Army Reserves, Fort Hood in Texas, and Fort Belvoir in Virginia. As a freshman in North Carolina last year, Lily was a member of a private school team that captured the state title, thus furthering her interest to want to continue playing.

“When we started looking at schools, that was Lily’s first question, ‘Do they have a soccer team?’” Warwick said. “We were enamored by both Fontbonne and St. Patrick’s because of the high caliber of education and of course the moral standing.”

Military roots run deep in the Fuller family. Warwick can trace his ancestry to a soldier who fought in the American Revolution. Another Fuller helped capture Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederacy. Warwick’s grandfather fought in Korea and his father in Vietnam. Yet growing up, he said he never had a desire to be in the military.

That all changed when he found out about being an Army chaplain – a position that goes all the way back to Gen. George Washington who believed the Army needed chaplains to help care for the spiritual well-being of soldiers. Warwick is an Anglican priest whose day-to-day responsibilities as a chaplain include ensuring the religious rights and liberties of any solider in his battalion.

Of course, this career path has led to lots of moving around the country for the family. At Fort Hamilton, Warwick works in the Chief of Chaplains Office and hopes the assignment will last two or three years as the children get comfortable in to their respective schools. Soccer has helped the family, especially Lily, adjust well to the Bay Ridge community.

“We were glad that Lily was able to find a team to play on here and just continue doing what she loves, and that’s play soccer,” said Heather, a biology teacher at Cristo Rey Brooklyn H.S., Flatbush. “She had two weeks of tryouts where she got to know the other girls and show the coaches what she could bring to the team.”

Lily has thoroughly enjoyed her time so far playing for the Bonnies. The team has made strides both offensively and defensively, and more importantly, the student-athletes welcomed Lily with open arms. As is often the case, sports can be a great way for new students to assimilate into their uncharted surroundings.

We thank Warwick for his dedicated service to our country, and we also thank his family for standing by his side as he fulfills his passion for being an Army chaplain – a position that involves serving those who serve.

Contact Jim Mancari via email at