MTSU will serve as host for the 33rd annual Salute to Armed Services and Veterans Day Saturday, Nov. 22, in Floyd Stadium and other nearby venues.
The activities, which will begin with the Veterans' Memorial Service at 2 p.m., will be a prelude to the 6 p.m. kickoff for the Conference USA football game between MTSU and Florida Atlantic University.
The Salute to Armed Services events pay tribute to the men and women who serve or who have served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. The Blue Raiders want you to join them in one of the nation's longest-running veterans' celebrations.
Various streets near the stadium will be blocked. To locate parking, a printable campus map can be found at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.
All veterans and their families will receive complimentary tickets to the game. The tickets will be available during the Veterans' Picnic, which will be held from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. near the Rose and Emmett Kennon Hall of Fame next to Murphy Center.
The day will be filled with numerous events for veterans, including:
• 2 p.m. Veterans' Memorial Service at the MTSU Veterans' Memorial outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. Many-Bears Grinder, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs, will be the featured speaker;
• 2:45 to 4:45 p.m. silent auction benefiting A Soldier's Child inside Kennon Hall of Fame. Items will include an autographed guitar from the ABC television show "Nashville;" an autographed fiddle from country music legend Charlie Daniels; a signed Salute to Armed Services edition MTSU football helmet; and Mizuno golf clubs;
3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Veterans' Picnic featuring hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, cookies and drinks. The game tickets for vets and their families are courtesy of State Farm and Barrett Firearms.
4 p.m. presentation of the Joe Nunley Award at the Kennon Hall of Fame. This year's recipients will all be World War II veterans. The award is named for the late Nunley, a World War II vet who was an MTSU education professor beginning in 1961 and who retired as alumni director in 1987. He died in 1993; and
4:30 p.m. start for the Vets Village, which will be located in Floyd Stadium's Gate 3. Presented by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, the village will provide vets and their families with opportunities to obtain information and receive answers to questions.
JT Cooper will perform the national anthem. Skydivers will deliver the game ball. At halftime, the more than 300-member Band of Blue will perform special patriotic music as veterans march across Horace Jones Field with other members of their service branches.
Fans attending the game are requested to bring new toy donations for the Toys for Tots collection bins. Duiring pregame and at the beginning of each of the four quarters, each of the respective branches of military will be recognized.
Textbook Brokers will be offering 20 percent off any one item with the purchase of the Salute to Armed Services game-day T-shirt.
Participating organizations include MTSU ROTC, Toys for Tots, State Farm Military Affinity Group, BRAVO (Blue Raider American Veterans Organization), USAA Military Affairs, School of Agribusiness and Agriscience, Vet Tix, Fisher House and Dr. Joe Nunley Award Committee.
Other participating organizations include Rutherford County, Wounded Warriors, Veterans Affairs, VA Nashville, MTSU Veterans Affairs coordinator, Veterans Group-Shelbyville, Vietnam Veteran Chapter 10, Brand Mortgage, A Soldier's Child, Tennessee National Guard and VFW/American Legion.
For more information or to order tickets, call 1-888-937-6878.