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Austin Peay State University to host Military Appreciation Day during Football Game on November 6th

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – On Saturday, Nov. 6th, 2021 at 2:00pm, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) athletics department will honor local veterans and military-affiliated individuals during its annual Military Appreciation Day football game at Fortera Stadium.

All veterans, active-duty personnel, and their families will receive free admission to the game with a current military ID.

The day will feature several vehicle displays, including an APSU helicopter and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment’s Little Bird helicopter under the scoreboard, a Tennessee Army National Guard Bradley Fighting Vehicle next to the Jenkins Family Fieldhouse and a Tennessee National Guard Blackhawk helicopter at the Morgan Brothers Soccer Field. The game will begin with a flyover by a Black Hawk and an Apache helicopter from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). 

Austin Peay State University is the state’s largest provider of higher education to military-affiliated students, with about 25 percent of enrolled students having a military connection.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission previously honored the University’s support of this population by naming Austin Peay State University a Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) Campus, and earlier this year, APSU opened the Newton Military Family Resource Center – the largest of this type of center in the state – to provide seamless support to military-affiliated students, from applying for admission to securing employment after graduation.

During the November 6th game, Austin Peay State University will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of its Governors Guard ROTC program. Since that program was established on January 28th, 1971, it has won eight MacArthur Awards, produced U.S. Army brigadier generals and a U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant general, seen its cadets earn top national recognitions, and mourned the loss of former students who valiantly gave their lives for their country.

As part of the 50th-anniversary celebration, Maj. Gen. Jimmie Cole, deputy adjutant general of Tennessee, will swear in Austin Peay’s newest Army ROTC cadets during a halftime ceremony. Austin Peay State University will also recognize ROTC graduates from each decade the program has been on campus.

Those individuals include:

  • Retired Col. Mitch Sartain (1970s).
  • Retired Col. Eddie Vaughn (1980s).
  • Retired Maj. John Braun (1990s).
  • U.S. Army Veteran Thomasa Ross (2000s).
  • Maj. Walter Rausch (2010s).
  • 2nd Lt. Christina Taylor (2020s).

During the game, Larry Carroll (’76), a U.S. Army veteran, will also receive the University’s inaugural Presidential Medal of Distinction. The Presidential Medal of Distinction is the highest award presented by Austin Peay’s president, honoring outstanding individuals for their exemplary volunteer service and remarkable contributions to the University community. 

This award recognizes those individuals who demonstrate a strong dedication to Austin Peay State University’s mission by exemplifying its abiding values of respect, trust, inclusion, discovery, and excellence. The award also recognizes those achievements that bring honor to this University through intellectual creativity, civic engagement, and national or international distinction.

Several other activities are scheduled to recognize individuals with a military connection. For more information on Saturday’s game, visit www.letsgopeay.com.

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