From flyovers to Paratroopers dropping from the sky, Florida State has always found a way to incorporate Military appreciation into the football atmosphere. In 2012, FSU is doing something special that will allow fans to show their appreciation as well.
"That's really what is special about Florida State," Director of Athletics Randy Spetman said. "President [Eric] Barron is trying to make this the most Veteran friendly university in the nation and he's made great initiatives towards that."
Florida State is partnering with the Veteran Tickets Foundation for the Wake Forest game on September 15. Fans who purchase a ticket to that game through www.seminoles.com will have an opportunity to purchase a half price ticket that will be given to a Veteran.
"We've been involved with the Wounded Warrior Project for about five years and we wanted to step up this year and do a little bit more," Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing Jason Dennard said. "We got involved with the Veteran Tickets Foundation where there's over 100,000 Veterans registered for the program within an hour of Tallahassee. People can buy a ticket and in return we'll take those tickets and donate them to these Veterans who deserve to come and see our games."
"Veteran Tickets Foundation is proud to partner with Florida State University to honor our Veterans and Active Duty personnel," Vet Tix CEO and President Michael Focareto said. "We at Veteran Tickets Foundation could not be more excited or honored about being chosen by Florida State University to be their mechanism to distribute tickets and to give back to the local military community."
The Veteran Tickets Foundation distributes these tickets to Veterans and active duty service members and their families as a way of saying thank you. The tickets help build morale for soldiers that may be getting ready to deploy and shows returning soldiers that the sacrifices they make are appreciated.
"It gives them something to rally around," Director of FSU Student Veterans Center Billy Francis said. "When you have a team that you can support and your buddies have teams that they support and then you can talk about the game, anticipate the game all week long and then watch the game together when you have the opportunity for that. It builds on the sense of team you already have and it's just a fun outlet."
"Those folks sacrifice their lives and what their families go through for their loved ones going over to fight for our country that's the least we can do to help them," head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "We really do appreciate what they do for us and allow us to live in the freedoms in which we do today."
Florida State will also show its appreciation by inviting members of the Wounded Warrior Project onto the field to be acknowledge during the Wake Forest game while also honoring the FSU Student Veterans and Seminoles.com will once again be collecting Military photos on its Facebook Page to be shown on the JumboTron at the game.
"To get out on that field, to be in that stadium and be recognized and to hear the 80,000 plus Seminoles fans applaud and yell. For them to be the focus of that it's just a really special thing," Francis said.
The common thread to all of these initiatives is simple, to honor those who serve our country and the response throughout the years has been tremendous.
"I'm a Veteran myself," Spetman said. "Having spent more than 30 years in the Air Force it means a lot to you when people reach out and say thank you for your service to this Nation and thanks for what you did. So this is our way to help give back to them."
Now fans can make a small sacrifice themselves to give more Veterans a chance to have another special memory.