UT finds special way to honor the troops at Vols game
KNOXVILLE (WBIR) -
(WBIR) - Vols fans not only cheered on the team Saturday, but also the troops who served our country.
Country music icon Lee Greenwood came to Neyland Stadium to team up with the Pride of the Southland Marching band for a special tribute honoring the Medal of Honor recipients that will be in town for this week's convention.
Four veterans represented these recipients, and all troops, while standing on the field with Greenwood during "God Bless the USA."
"Greenwood and his song, I will tell you, he brings out the best in anybody," said veteran Worth Campbell.
The university also celebrated becoming a Purple Heart designated university. It's now one of only six in the country. The Military order of the Purple Heart in Tennessee made the special declaration during halftime.
Don Burgett was among the veterans honored and like the others has a story to tell.
He served in WWII and the Korean war.
"Stayed in Korea, had my feet frozen, had a toe amputated, and I met this cute x-ray technician, and I decided I was maybe going to get out of the military," said Burgett.
His wife passed away 10 years ago, but he still carries her memory when accepting these honors.
Another of the veterans, Jack Pursely, has a special tie to the University of Tennessee starting off in a career making artificial legs.
"The next thing I knew I was a career soldier," said Pursley.
After finishing his 30 year career, he became a UT professor. Giving this honor another element.
"There is a lot of nostalgia and the circumstances I don't think can be beaten. I was delighted to be here and honor other veterans," said Pursely.
It was a way of giving the troops support.
"I think we need more credit given to the military than there is," said Campbell.
Through either a round of applause...
"I feel wonderful about this sort of thing," said Korean War veteran Ed Penico.