MILITARY HONORED THIS WEEKEND AT NGU

North Greenville University will hold its sixth annual Military Appreciation Weekend this Friday and Saturday, November 9-10. The University will honor those who have served and are serving in our nation’s armed forces.  

On Friday, November 9, the NGU ROTC will hold a retreat ceremony at the flag pole on the front lawn of the NGU campus. That evening, the alumni will be presenting a patriotic themed alumni talent show at 6:30 p.m. in Turner Chapel.

On Saturday, National Guard military vehicles will be on display in front of Younts Stadium prior to and during the Crusaders last home football game against Virginia University at Lynchburg. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.

The NGU ROTC Department will provide a barbeque tailgate free of charge to military personnel and veterans beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the stadium grounds.  

In addition to the tailgate, the South Carolina National Guard will provide a ropes course for everyone’s enjoyment.

The pregame ceremony will feature the presenting of colors by the NGU ROTC Color Guard as well as the commissioning of three NGU cadets (Andrew Brodgen, Arthur Hampton, and Charles Wilson) who will become officers in the US Army. Retired US Naval Captain and NGU professor of psychology, Dr. William McManus, will be offering the invocation. World War II veteran Army Captain Retired William “Bill” Moore from Greenville will perform the coin toss.

At halftime, the North Greenville University Band will perform a patriotic show that will include a swearing in of NGU Army ROTC Cadets: Timothy (Paul) Scott, James (Brad) Stickley, and Raven Wamer.

Also at halftime, NGU will be honoring the family of PFC Geoffrey A. Whitsitt, U.S. Army PFC Adam Ross, Major General Khambang Sibounheuang, and Chief Master Sergeant Air Force Retired John Mimms.

PFC Whitsitt was a member of the Army Airborne, 118th Military Police Company, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade, who was one of two Army soldiers killed on January 13, 2010 at Combat Outpost McClain, Afghanistan from the explosion of a Taliban-planted IED (Improvised Explosive Device) near their vehicle. His awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal-Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Parachutist Badge, and the Combat Action Badge. Private Whitsitt left behind an older brother Steve who serves in the Navy and parents Debbie and Steve Whitsitt of Taylors.

U.S. Army PFC Adam Ross of Lyman was shot and killed in an ambush while on foot patrol in Afghanistan on July 24, 2012.

Ross, a member of the 173rd Airborne Infantry, was stationed in Vicenza, Italy, and had been in Afghanistan for less than three weeks when he was killed.

Ross graduated a semester early from James F. Byrnes High School at the end of 2010. He enlisted on April 4, 2011, following two role models, his father, Staff Sgt. Dudley Ross, who served 10 years in the U.S. Navy before transferring to the Army National Guard, and his brother, U.S. Army Pfc. Jonathan Ross, 24, who is stationed in South Korea.

Major General Khambang Sibounheuang, who was born and raised in Central Laos, served as a combat infantryman in many actions against the Communist Forces and soon rose through the ranks to become a commissioned officer and to command an Infantry Special Group Commando Company.

Sibounheuang served with distinction as a Company Commander and was wounded in two different combat operations.  He was captured by the Communists and while awaiting transport to a “Reeducation Camp,” he escaped with his wife and three children to Thailand and they eventually made their way to the United States and Nashville, Tennessee.

MG Sibounheuang documented his war time experiences in a book he authored entitled, White Dragon Two: A Royal Laotian Army Commando’s Escape from Laos.

He is the founder, President and Chief Operating Officer of the International Relief Center.  The mission of the organization is to assist Laotian refugees with medical care, education – by building several schools in Cambodia – financial aid and most importantly, HOPE for the future.

Chief Master Sergeant Air Force Retired John Mimms is a 1951 NGU alumnus. He served in the 315th Military Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB. His total service to his country is 38 years and seven months.

Mims was a member of the first North Greenville football team in 1950, played in North Greenville’s first basketball game in the new gym in 1950, and played on North Greenville’s first baseball team in 1951.

From 11 am until 3 pm Saturday, the school will hold a blood drive in memory of Captain Kimberly Hampton. Hampton, from Greenville, was a Captain in the United States Army and the first female military pilot in United States history to be shot down and killed as a result of hostile fire. She was also the first woman from South Carolina to die in the Iraq War. The blood mobile will be parked on the stadium grounds.

All those wearing military uniforms or with military ID will be admitted free to the game.

For more information about Military Appreciation Day contact Jason Ross at 864.977.7026.