North Greenville University will recognize the service of military veterans during Military Appreciation Day at Younts Stadium on November 12.
The celebration will take place during the North Greenville football team’s final home game against #19 ranked University of West Georgia. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.
“NGU Football is honored to celebrate Military Appreciation Day,” said North Greenville Head Football Coach Jeff Farrington. “We are allowed to have many privileges due to the service and sacrifice of many American servicemen and women around the globe. Carrying each service flag is not something we take for granted.”
Military Appreciation Day will include a presentation of the colors by the South Carolina State Guard 2nd Battalion, recognition of three decorated veterans, and musical performance by Dr. Andrew Stevens.
“We want to give honor back to those who have served and defended our country,” said Dr. Jason Ross, Director of Development and Corporate Relations at NGU. “Anytime we can shine the spotlight on veterans who went above and beyond the call of duty, it’s a special time at the university.”
During a halftime ceremony, North Greenville will honor Ret. Senator Lewis Vaughn, Marine Corps Veteran Jonathan Burgess, and Ret. Colonel Mike Stahl.
Vaughn enlisted in the Army at 16. He was honorably discharged in July of 1953, but reenlisted four months later and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class. He was assigned to Korea in January of 1954, first as a Platoon Sergeant, then Acting First Sergeant of his Tank Company. He rotated back to the states in August of 1955 as a Platoon Sergeant of a Light M-24 Tank Reconnaissance Platoon. He was honorably discharged the second time in October 1956. After retiring, he served 20 years in the SC House and Senate. He was chairman of the Greenville County Legislative Delegation (GCLD) for 12 years.
Burgess is a native to the Upstate of South Carolina. From 2006 to 2010, he served as an infantryman with 1st Battalion 5th Marine Regiment. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom aboard the USS Cleveland, and in 2009, he fought in Helmand Province (Afghanistan), where he was injured and returned home to Camp Pendleton, California. Jonathan served the first program director for Upstate Warrior Solution’s Spartanburg office helping veterans and their families transition from active duty to civilian life.
Stahl joined the Marine Corps after graduating from high school in Del Rio, TX, receiving an appointment to OCS under the Meritorious Non-Commissioned Officer Program. He retired as a Colonel after 26 years. He was awarded a Navy Cross (second highest award after the Medal of Honor), Bronze Star Medal for Heroism and six Purple Heart Medals. He had multiple combat tours in Vietnam, Beirut, Lebanon, Cambodia, and El Salvador. His military experience included infantry, reconnaissance, hostage rescue and special operations. He was the first Marine Corps Counter- Narcotics Task Force Commander.
“It’s not every day that veterans get to take part in something like this,” Ross said of the Military Appreciation event. “A lot of them come back from combat, resume daily tasks, and struggle with PTSD. Being able to do things like this provides just that small sense of pride and accomplishment that makes them feel good.”
Ross is encouraging local veterans to come out and participate.
“We’re inviting all veterans that served and are currently serving to come out and be a part of this event,” he said. “This is a time for you to be acknowledged for the sacrifices you made for this country.”
About North Greenville University
NGU offers more than 125 areas of study across certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and early college opportunities. Online. In-person. At our main campus in Tigerville, SC, the Tim Brashier Campus in Greer, SC, or several educational centers around the U.S. One university, many locations. Every day. Epic. Learn more.