TROY, Ala.—Troy University will shine the spotlight on the men and women of the U.S. military during Tuesday night’s home football game against Middle Tennessee State University at Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium.
Since 2000, the University has honored members of the armed forces at one home football game in November as a Veterans Day tribute.
This year, a special invitation to the game was extended to all military personnel and their families who have responded to the University’s TROY for Troops campaign, an effort launched more than a year ago to identify and thank current students, alumni, faculty or staff members or members of their immediate families who are currently serving in the military. The effort, spearheaded by TROY First Lady Janice Hawkins, has included sending letters to all service men and women who responded to the University’s call for contact information, as well as care packages sent to those serving in harm’s way.
“I believe that we, as American citizens, need to do everything in our power to support those young men and women who are serving in harm’s way on our behalf,” Mrs. Hawkins said. “Whether you agree with the philosophy of the war or not, those young people need to know that they have our support and appreciation. This is our opportunity to say thank you, we appreciate you and we are praying for your safety and swift return.”
Service men and women from Maxwell Air Force Base and Fort Rucker also have received tickets for Tuesday’s game, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Pre-game festivities will include the presentation of colors by members of Troy University’s Army and Air Force ROTC units. Cadet Nicholas McSween, a senior in the ROTC program from Elba, will deliver the invocation. The ROTC units also will be firing cannons in the end zone after Trojan touchdowns.
In addition, the University will play host to the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization aimed at assisting those men and women of the U.S. armed forces who have been severely injured during the war on terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations around the world. Wounded Warrior Martin Alexander Jackson will be honored during the coin toss prior to the game. Jackson is a member of the Army who received injuries to his spinal cord as a result of combat.
At halftime, Troy University’s Sound of the South Marching Band will provide a special salute, including the performance of the service song for each branch of the military. All veterans, active duty, reserves and family members will be asked to stand and be recognized during the performance of their service song. The Sound of the South will conclude its halftime presentation with a performance of John Phillip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”
In addition, the video message board in Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium will feature photographs, video messages and information regarding Trojans currently serving in the military.
Troy University operates teaching sites on approximately 25 military bases outside of Alabama as a part of its University College division, which is composed of locations in 16 states and 13 sites outside of the United States. In addition, Troy University serves active-duty enlisted soldiers through eArmyU, the U.S. Army’s distance-education program.