When West Virginia hosts TCU at Milan Puskar Stadium this Saturday, the Mountaineers will don a special decal on their helmets. It will be the state outline with the Stars and Stripes inside for Military Appreciation Day.
“We will proudly display those decals. We let our players vote on what they wanted to wear and it was unanimous,” head coach Neal Brown said. “This is a special day and a day to really just say thanks.”
It is also a day that carries extra meaning for Coach Brown.
“My sister is serving overseas. She’s been in Italy going on 18 months now in the Air Force,” he said. “So, it’s a day that means a lot to me and we have several players and staff members that have family that has served in the military.”
WVU offensive coordinator Gerad Parker is one of those staff members. Parker has two close friends that have served in the military along with his grandfather and father-in-law.
“Any time you can show appreciation for the people that allow us to do what we do day in and day out, it is a special day. You certainly don’t want to let time or times changing not let us pay our respects,” Parker said.
Helmet decals aren’t the only way WVU is showing appreciation. The day will begin with a flyover for the Nation Anthem courtesy of the 167th Air Force National Guard out of Martinsburg, WV. Then, all veterans in attendance will be asked to stand up and be recognized for their service in the first quarter.
Various military groups will have representatives in attendance including WVU ROTC and the Wounded Wounded Warrior Project. WVU is also asking veterans to post pictures from overseas and send in a message using the hashtag #WVUFamily to be shown on the video board during the game.
WVU and TCU kickoff at noon on Saturday.