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Football game honors soldiers

SSobickSSobick Registered User Posts: 2,331 Senior Member
edited November 2007 in University of Florida
By KORI FREDERICK, Alligator Writer
The Ben Hill Griffin Stadium announcer's voice could barely be heard over a five-minute standing ovation that welcomed three soldiers to Saturday's football game.

Capt. Kyle Everage, Master Sgt. Steven Larner and Staff Sgt. Jason Lick were honored for their service in Iraq at the first timeout at Saturday's football game. They also participated in the pre-game coin toss.

The soldiers were part of Operation Tribute to Freedom's "Welcome Back to School" initiative, which recognizes students, faculty, staff and alumni who have served in Iraq and welcomes them back to school during sporting events and other special programs.

Everage, a 2001 UF graduate, returned from duty in Iraq in 2004. In Iraq, he worked as an anti-tank and heavy-weapons platoon leader. He earned the Bronze Star Medal and works as the Florida National Guard liaison and recruiting officer for the UF Army ROTC.

Larner returned from Iraq a year ago.

He has been a soldier for 18 years and also wears the Bronze Star Medal. He is the senior military instructor for the UF Army ROTC.

Lick has been a soldier for more than 10 years, including one year in Iraq. He is a member of the Army Reserves.

Lick described his experience on Florida Field on Saturday as "unbelievable." He said the Army and the Gators are two of the most important things in his life.

Caroline Hinson, a UF chemistry senior, was one of the students in attendance.

"It was very happy and also very solemn knowing that a lot of soldiers are still over there," she said.

The Independent Florida Alligator: News - Football game honors soldiers who fought in Iraq
Post edited by SSobick on

Replies to: Football game honors soldiers

  • doubleplaydoubleplay Registered User Posts: 3,550 Senior Member
    H and I were there. It brought tears to my eyes. When they told everyone who had served to stand, people had to sit down, because everyone was already on their feet cheering for those who had. I sat, but was proud that H remained standing. It was truly amazing and inspiring. I am not a UF alum, but my kids go there and I am constantly pleasantly surprised at the overwhelming enthusiasm, patriotism, and warmth of UF students and fans. The traditions- "two bits", "the boys from florida" song, "You can call me Al", and the rest... what an amazing experience a UF football game is!
  • nycollegedadnycollegedad Registered User Posts: 684 Member
    that is an awesome tribute and well deserved! I thank all those serving and who have served.

    no matter what your views may be about the war, there is no doubt that we have the best, bravest and most unselfish soldiers ever! They along with our veterans deserve more of this kind of recognition, even though they would never ask for it.

    good job UF!
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