Tyndall Airmen carry the American flag onto the field during a Military Appreciation Day half time performance at the Jacksonville Jaguars versus Kansas City Chiefs game in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Nov. 8. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jonathan Gibson)
Tyndall Airmen carry the American flag off the field during a Military Appreciation Day pre-game performance at the Jacksonville Jaguars versus Kansas City Chiefs game in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Nov. 8. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jonathan Gibson)
Tyndall Airmen practice unfurling the American flag for Military Appreciation Day at the Jacksonville Jaguars versus Kansas City Chiefs game in the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Nov. 8. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jonathan Gibson)
by 1st Lt. Cody Chiles
325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
11/9/2009 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- A special thank you was given to approximately 1,000 military members who were invited to the Jacksonville Jaguars Military Appreciation Day at the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Nov. 8.
Among those honored at the Jaguars versus Kansas City Chiefs game were 200 Airmen from Tyndall AFB; 60 who were given the honor to bear the American flag and an Air Force star-shaped flag during the National Anthem and the half-time performance.
Tyndall's Airmen unfurled an American flag from 30 yard line to 30 yard line and hash mark to hash mark prior to the games start. The entire stadium came to its feet as Tyndall's Airmen held the flag center field during a moment of silence, a 21-gun salute, the national anthem and a flyover by a B-2 Spirit from the 13th Bomber Squadron, 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
"Between the magnitude of the event and the noise from all of the cheering fans afterwards, I felt really proud to be holding our flag on the field," said Airman 1st Class Peter Tucker, 325th Contracting Squadron contract specialist. "I really appreciated it!"
Two American flags and an Air Force star-shaped flag were unfurled by Tyndall Airmen while members of the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Army simultaneously unfurled their respective star-shaped flags on the field during half-time.
With flags in place, Maj. Gen. Donald Campbell, Commanding General United States Army Recruiting Command, lead a mass induction ceremony, swearing in 102 new recruits for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Army.
"It was awesome. It gave me chills!" said Airman Paige Salvin after being sworn in. "I wanted a challenge and the Air Force had the best jobs for me."
The National Anthem and the half time show were not the only events that showed appreciation to the military.
The Jaguars Cheerleaders showed their appreciation through a series of military themed routines that were showcased throughout the game.
"We are thrilled to celebrate Veterans Day!" said Christy Stechman Zynda, Jaguars Cheerleading program manager. "We have some special routines planned for today."
Outside the stadium, fans thanked military members for their service as they swarmed a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, a SH-60B Seahawk helicopter, a Vietnam Veterans memorial wall, the Air Force Afterburner Monster Truck and multiple Humvees on display.
Even the players deviated from their normal routine by throwing out high fives and taking the time to talk to some of the military members.
"Seeing the soldiers reminds us of how lucky we are," said Josh Scobee, Jaguars kicker. "It's the military that allows us to do what we do. We appreciate your service!"
"It's a big deal! The fact that the Jaguars have opened their stadium to us is a real treat." said Gen. Campbell. "It shows their appreciation for our troops."