Idaho to honor U.S. Military this Saturday

SATURDAY'S HOME GAME AGAINST THE UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING (2pm kickoff, aired live on ESPN3) will honor veterans and current members of the United States military. Idaho's military appreciation ceremonies will include tributes on Friday, followed by a special tribute during the game for those who served in the Vietnam War. Veterans and their families will receive half-price admission to the game.

The following is an official press release from the University of Idaho Media Relations Department.

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho will honor veterans and current military members at the annual Military Appreciation Day Vandal football game against the University of Wyoming on Saturday, Sept. 22.

First, veterans and the general public are invited to attend an open house at the James F. Amos Veterans Center from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21 in the Idaho Commons. Visitors also may visit the nearby Idaho War Memorial, located in the Memorial Gym foyer.

At 10 a.m., U-Idaho and Washington State University combined ROTCs will join area veterans groups at a remembrance of those missing or still held captive by U.S. enemies. The POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 21 on the Administration Building Lawn.

"We observe and solemnly celebrate POW/MIA day to honor those of our fellow countrymen who either have been, or are currently, prisoners of war and have endured, or are enduring, special, unique hardships and sacrifice -- along with their families. This day, always observed the third Friday of September, also reminds Americans that we should, and will, never forget the service and sacrifices of those who have been POWs or those greater numbers now who were or remain missing in action," said Dan Button, University of Idaho veterans adviser.

The next day, a special tribute during the Vandal football game is planned for those who served in the Vietnam War. With other events around the country on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam war, the salute will give the crowd another opportunity to say "thank you" to those, who upon returning home, received little public appreciation.

"Our nation and its citizens, as a whole, did not demonstrate their gratitude and respect for our Vietnam veterans' service and sacrifices for our country during a time of social and political upheaval in America. We were distracted by the nature and context of the Vietnam War and failed to separate our feelings about the war with our feelings towards our warriors. So now on the 50th anniversary of the official start of the Vietnam War, the University of Idaho and surrounding communities are taking the opportunity to acknowledge all Vietnam veterans and their families," said Button.

Military Appreciation Day activities will start at 11 a.m. on the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center's north field. There will be a range of military equipment and assets on display, a climbing wall, kid activities, Veterans' Services information and a ticket give-a-way for Vietnam Veterans and free Pepsi provided by Z-Fun 106.1 FM. All veterans and their families will receive vouchers for free refreshments during the game.

"The University of Idaho has several hundred student veterans, as well as faculty and staff veterans. This is a way for the University of Idaho to show our appreciation for their service, as well as thank them for giving the university the opportunity to be a support system to help our veterans re-adjust and re-enter civilian life. We also pay tribute to those who continue to serve at the end of 11 years of war in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe. Additionally, some greater number from our surrounding communities also willingly served when called by our nation to defend America and help preserve the values and ideals that make the United States the greatest nation on Earth," said Button.

The Idaho Vandal football team will take on University of Wyoming at 2 p.m. Vietnam veterans representing each service will participate in the coin toss. At half time, enlisted troops will be sworn in during a military enlistment ceremony on the field.

Special ticket prices of $12 for adults will be available to veterans and active duty personnel and their families. Purchases may be made at or by calling (208) 885-6466.

Military Appreciation Day is sponsored by the University of Idaho and Washington State University ROTC units, Vandal Athletics, Operation Education, James F. Amos Veterans Center, University of Idaho President's Office, Inland Northwest Broadcasting, Pepsi, KLEW-TV, the Moscow-Pullman Daily News and other community partners.

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