CLEMSON – Saturday's football game between Clemson University and The Citadel has been designated Military Appreciation Day 2008.
Clemson’s Army and Air Force ROTC, in collaboration with the Clemson Corps, the athletic department and Tiger Band sponsor the event each year.
“The football game between the Clemson Tigers and The Citadel Bulldogs offers an outstanding venue to recognize men and women currently serving in the Armed Forces and all military veterans,” said retired Col. Sandy Edge, chairman of the Clemson Corps. “Both schools have proud military traditions and have produced distinguished alumni who have served our country and the free world honorably and bravely.
“Military Appreciation Day will honor these alumni and all veterans. The activities will celebrate their service and honor their sacrifices.”
Beginning at 9 a.m., Bowman Field will feature military displays that will include Air Defense (Avenger) Equipment, the National Guard Mobile Recruiting Office, the Air National Guard Recruiting Trailer with walk-through interactive displays, a Raptor SUV, an F-16, a World War II jeep and a rock-climbing wall.
A pre-game concert by the Clemson marching band will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the outdoor theater. Veterans and current soldiers then will participate in the 2:30 p.m. parade to Memorial Stadium.
Pre-game activities will feature the presentation of colors by the Clemson C-4 Pershing Rifles, five-time national drill team champion. The Tiger Platoon will raise the American flag and four F-16s from the South Carolina Air National Guard will fly over the stadium following the national anthem.
Military veterans and current soldiers will participate in a parade onto the field at halftime. The families of fallen soldiers from South Carolina also will be introduced. At halftime a wreath, helmet and boots will be placed on the field to remember fallen soldiers and there will be a 21-gun salute by the Pershing Rifles, a playing of “Taps” and an Armed Forces Service medley by The Citadel and Clemson marching bands.
T-shirts will be available commemorating the event with team colors from The Citadel and Clemson along with 62 stars that represent South Carolina’s fallen soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Clemson University Air Force and Army ROTC programs.