Clemson to celebrate military heritage for Wake Forest

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CLEMSON – Clemson University celebrates its 22nd Military Appreciation Day Saturday in conjunction with the Wake Forest football game.

Events are planned before and during the game, and fans are encouraged to wear purple in support of the military as part of the student government-sponsored “Purple Out.”

Military vehicle and helicopter display

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Bowman Field will be the site of a display of Army National Guard helicopters and vintage military vehicles, and Air Force and Army ROTC recruiting tents and local National Guard units.

Flag exchange

At 11 a.m., the Pershing Rifles will perform the ceremonial exchange of last year’s flag at the Scroll of Honor/Memorial Park.

Military parade

Following a half-hour Tiger Band performance in the amphitheater at 2 p.m., the military parade will begin at the Holmes and McCabe residence halls. All veterans and current military personnel from Clemson and Wake Forest are invited to join the Tiger Band and the Clemson cheerleaders in the parade. Parade lineup will take place at 2:15 p.m. outside of Bracket Hall.


An Air Force C-17 cargo plane will fly over the stadium at the end of the National Anthem. After the singing of the Alma Mater, members of the Special Forces Association Parachute Team from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, will descend into the stadium by parachute.

Honorary captains

Two honorary captains will be introduced during the coin toss, Sgt. 1st Class Bradford played football for Clemson in 1998 and 1999. He is a highly decorated veteran who received the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, two Bronze Star Medals and two Purple Hearts, among others.

Cadet Robert Bussmann is a member of the Army ROTC chapter. After graduating this May, he will attend pilot training for the Army National Guard to specialize in flying the CH-47F Chinook helicopter.

“Military Appreciation Day serves as an important reminder of Clemson’s history,” Bussman said. “It gives us a moment to sit back and reflect about how fortunate we are to have so many people willing to serve our country.”

Heroes of the Game

During the first quarter, two Heroes of the Game will be recognized. Henry and Homer Montgomery are brothers who served in World War II. Henry Montgomery landed on Utah Beach during the Normandy invasion, and Homer Montgomery served as a military policeman who accompanied Japanese-American residents of American internment camps who were sent to Japan at the war’s end.

Veterans recognition

During halftime, all veterans and active duty military are invited onto the field to be recognized for their service. To participate, go to Portal X in the West End Zone or enter through the visitors’ tunnel with five minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Tiger Band will play the Armed Forces Medley, and all veterans and active-duty military personnel are asked to stand to be recognized when their branch’s song is played. Vietnam veterans will be recognized in the West End Zone as well.

Families of fallen soldiers from the state of South Carolina also will be introduced. The Clemson Ranger Club will perform a salute to the Fallen Soldier in the East End Zone, followed by a 21-gun salute by the Pershing Rifles.

Clemson University was founded as a military college. Nearly 500 alumni have given their lives during service to the United States.

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