For Immediate Release
Subject: Last Saturday’s Bobcats Vietnam Appreciation Games A Slam Dunk
The Men’s and Lady’s Bobcats games against Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU) last Saturday were held as Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Games, just one of the many activities held for the College’s official commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
Several noteworthy activities took place at the games, including honorary tip-offs by Vietnam Veterans Barb Riggle (for the women’s game) and James Buchan (for the men’s game). All Vietnam Veterans received free admission, commemorative t-shirt, special seating and a court-side picnic. But that was just the start. Between games, the College invited all Vietnam Veterans to center court to be recognized. After they converged onto the court, the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 913 Color Guard presented the colors for honors to the nation. The Hollister Elementary Honor Cubs Choir, directed by Elisabeth Schoenecke, sang the National Anthem, as well as a “Proud of Our Veterans,” and at the song’s conclusion, saluted the Veterans.
College of the Ozarks specifically selected HINU as partner for the Vietnam Appreciate Games for a reason. Native American servicemen and women fought valiantly in Vietnam and participated in major battles from the la Drang Valley to Khe San to Dak To. Specifically, 42, 000 Native Americans—the highest per capita rate of any ethnic group in the United States—served in Vietnam.
That evening, the College also honored two HINU players currently serving in the National Guard. Lady Haskell member Keli Warrior and Men Haskell member Ron Rousseau were recognized with plaques presented to them by C of O Executive Vice President Fred Mullinax.
As an official partner with Department of Defense Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, from March 2013-September 2014, College of the Ozarks will celebrate and honor the Veterans of the Vietnam War. While our Vietnam Veterans did not receive the appreciation and homecoming they deserved during the 1960s-70s, the College resolves to properly honor and recognize them for their service and sacrifices and to educate the younger generation on the importance of their selfless contributions to our nation.
The next commemorative event, scheduled for April 23, at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium, will be the College’s version of a “Teach-in,” featuring a panel of three Vietnam Veterans, who will provide information on what it was like to serve in the War and challenges of returning home and re-adapting back into society. For more information, please contact the Public Relations Office at (417) 690-2212.