GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — East Carolina University will face off against SMU Saturday at noon and this game is focused on the men and women that protect and serve. All five branches of the United States Armed Forces will be honored at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
ECU’s annual Military Appreciation Day is tradition. This year it will feature a pre-game tailgate, military displays around the stadium, and even special gear on Pirate players. The custom t-shirts and helmet decals are just some of the ways ECU plans to show their appreciation.
“We’re a large military state and it’s just something small that we can do to say thank you to all those service men and women who help us out all year-long, defending our country and giving their lives for ours,” says Shelley Binegar with ECU Athletics.
5,000 tickets were donated to troops in North Carolina so they may attend the Saturday showdown. The first 20,000 fans in the stands will be given mini American flags to wave at the game. But that’s not the only incentive to show up early.
“We have some F-16 coming over the stadium around 11:50 am in coordination with the National Anthem so make sure you’re in your seats early and you’re there because you don’t want to miss that,” says Binegar.
ECU alumni are flying jets during the fly over. For more information on the event, click here.