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Westfield State hosts Military Appreciation Night at Veteran’s Day Football Game

WESTFIELD- Westfield State University will honor its student veterans and all attending military members and their families with Military Appreciation Night at the November 11 football game against Western Connecticut State University. The Veteran’s Day event begins on campus at 5:30 p.m.

Westfield State currently has 231 military-connected students registered including active-duty, veterans, and family members.

The night event begins with a free Military/Veteran Resource Fair at 5:30 p.m. and a tailgating party from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Horace Mann Center parking lot. The fair includes information for veterans and military members with representation from Homeward Vets, Statewide Advocacy for Veterans’ Empowerment (SAVE), the Team Red, White, and Blue Springfield Chapter, and the U.S. Family Health Plan among others. In addition, there will be a collection for Homeward Vets, an organization which serves veterans in need who are underprivileged and underserved, to build their lives. Items in need include silverware, cups, plates, pots, and pans. The free tailgate party begins at 6 p.m. and hamburgers, garden burgers and hotdogs will be served.

 “At Westfield State University, we have a strong commitment to our military, veterans and family members because we understand our military community,” said Lisa Ducharme, Westfield State’s veteran and military services coordinator and a retired noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force. Ducharme explained that in addition to our current services and support for our military students and families, the Massachusetts State Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 contains $50,000 to establish a Military Excellence Center at Westfield State University.

The Nov. 11 football game begins at 7 p.m. on Alumni Field with student veteran Jonathan Taylor ’18 of Westfield, Mass. singing the National Anthem. The Legion family in Westfield, which includes the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, and Sons of The American Legion will post the colors before the start of the game. Game admission is free for veterans and military members with IDs, Westfield State students, faculty, and staff. Adult tickets are $6 and students and senior tickets are $3.

To park in the Horace Mann Center parking lot, please RSVP by Nov. 10 to Ducharme at LDucharme@westfield.ma.edu or visit https://secure.blueoctane.net/forms/SMO8I8Y3T97U.

Military, veterans, family members, and collegiate seniors will all receive buttons designating the celebration.

The event was organized by Westfield State University Athletics, the Office Veteran and Military Services, and the Westfield State Veterans Association.