Nov. 20, 2015
By Brad Muller | More Features
There’s a deeper meaning than just the outcome of Saturday’s football game between South Carolina and The Citadel at Williams-Brice Stadium. Halftime will feature South Carolina’s annual salute to the military, and several living heroes will be honored on the field along with families who have lost loved ones in service to the United States.
“We have so many veterans and current military personnel associated with our university and in our state, and this is a chance to thank them for what they have done for our country,” said Josh Waters, Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing. “The purpose is to honor all of those who serve or have served and also the family members of those who have served. Sometimes they get forgotten for what they sacrifice. We’ll honor those that lost a loved one this year, and we’ll lay wreath on the field too.”
There will also be a military flyover the stadium during the event. The halftime military salute has been in place for more than two decades at South Carolina and every branch of the United States Armed Forces will be honored and represented.
“By the time we end on Saturday, we will have more than 1,000 people on the field,” Waters said. “That includes the band and members of the military. We have a huge flag that will be out there that takes more than 250 people to hold it. Each branch of the military will have its own song played and their colors presented.”
The honorees, several of whom have ties to the University, will be presented a game ball by University President Harris Pastides, Athletics Director Ray Tanner and United States Congressman Joe Wilson from the South Carolina’s second district, who is also a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
The purpose is to honor all of those who serve or have served and also the family members of those who have served.
Saturday’s honorees include:
Command Sergeant Major William D. Hain. Command Sergeant Major Hain served in the United States Army for 32 years. He graduated from Ranger Airborne and Drill Sergeant School and served in operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Among the many awards earned during his career are the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Major General Doctor Jim Chow. Major General Chow recently retired from the South Carolina National Guard after 30 years of service. He began his career as a student at the South Carolina School of Medicine where he remains as Associate Professor of Medicine and Surgery. He was the Air National Guard United States Air Force Officer of the Year in 1995 and 2000.
Major General Steve Seigfried. Major General Seigfried served in the United States Army for 34 years and served in Panama, Germany, and Great Britain and had two combat tours in Vietnam. He was also the Commanding General of Fort Jackson during his career. He has earned two Distinguished Service medals, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.
Private First Class Leif Maseng. PFC Maseng was assigned to the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division and jumped into Normandy on D-Day during World War II. He also fought in the Battle of Bulge. He earned the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. His three granddaughters graduated from the University of South Carolina and he was awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering.
Private First Class Vernon Brantley. PFC Brantley attended the University of South Carolina and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, which was one of the bloodiest battles for the United States during World War II. He earned the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
Chief Warrant Officer Dr. Perry Hopkins. Chief Warrant Officer Hopkins served for more than 44 years in the United States Armed Forces and other federal services during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He is the recipient of seven Bronze Stars, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross, as well as 36 Air Medals and three Purple Hearts.
Kickoff between South Carolina and The Citadel is scheduled for 12 p.m.
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