Saturday’s pregame “wows” continued for another couple of hours as Methodist University hosted its annual Military Appreciation Day football game at Monarch Stadium.
The game capped off a special afternoon that featured lively tailgating, free admission for all military personnel, the All-Veteran Group parachute team making a thrilling entrance into the stadium, and multiple opportunities to honor active-duty service members, veterans, and their families. One such honor was the ceremonial game ball given to Sergeant First Class Kevin Quinones of the 82nd Airborne Division by Dr. Stanley T. Wearden, President of Methodist University.
“It’s a great honor for us to host this event for the military as we are deeply committed to the military at Methodist University,” Wearden said. “Fort Bragg is right next door to us, and a lot of our students are either active-duty soldiers, veterans, or their family members. So, we’re doing everything we can at MU to serve the military effectively because they have served us so well.”
The large crowd on hand stood and faced the flag as the national anthem was presented by Lieutenant Colonel Elenah Kelly from the Dover (Del.) Air Force Base. Then all eyes turned to the skies as the All-Veteran Group from Fayetteville made its appearance, parachuting 3,400 feet down from a helicopter and landing on the football field. The 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus performed at halftime.
“The parachutes were so high in the air, and I saw smoke and an American flag,” said 5-year-old Ahni Gooden. “Wow. It was so cool, I would love to try to do that someday,” said 8-year-old Danny Jenkins.
Honoring, hosting, and celebrating military members is nothing new to Methodist University, which annually ranks as a Gold-level Military Friendly University, is named a Best for Vets University, and has an office at Fort Bragg to serve those who serve as they pursue advancement in their education and careers.
“When I was looking for a school, the Methodist staff were so friendly and welcoming and they had the degree I wanted,” said Cadet Brittany Jimenez, a junior majoring in Psychology. “Today is awesome, certainly not something you’d see all other universities offer,” said Cadet Ryan Kerrigan, a junior Criminal Justice major.
More than 500 students with military-connections currently call MU home, taking advantage of the many academic and financial aid opportunities the University provides. To learn more about Methodist University’s academic programs for military and veteran students, visit our website. For more on the game, or MU Athletics, visit mumonarchs.com.
Top Photo: The All-Veteran Group parachute team lands on the Monarch Stadium field prior to the football game during Saturday’s Military Appreciation Day at Methodist University.