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Tech Athletics to Honor Wounded Warriors

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Arkansas Tech University will say thank you to some of our country’s bravest men and women during the current academic year. 
 
The Arkansas Tech Athletics Department has selected the Wounded Warrior Project as its primary charitable beneficiary for 2011-12.
 
As part of the initiative, any U.S. military veteran who earned the Purple Heart and wears it to Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field or Tucker Coliseum can gain free admission to all regular season home football and basketball games at Arkansas Tech during the 2011-12 academic year. 
 
“The Arkansas Tech Athletics Department identifies a worthy cause each academic year as a way of giving back to the community,” said Kristy Bayer, assistant athletic director, senior women’s administrator and head volleyball coach at Arkansas Tech. “The hard work of our student-athletes and the generosity of our fans have allowed us to contribute to organizations like the Arkansas Rice Depot, the Salvation Army and Main Street Mission in recent years.

“This year, we wanted our charitable efforts to benefit the people of the U.S. military who sacrifice each and every day so that we can enjoy our many freedoms,” continued Bayer. “We are proud to partner with the Wounded Warrior Project and recognize those who have served our country.”

Each sport at Arkansas Tech will hold a promotional event to raise awareness of and funds for the Wounded Warrior Project during the 2011-12 academic year.

During football season, the Wounded Warrior Project will nominate an honorary coach to spend game day with the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys for their home games on Sept. 24, Oct. 8, Oct. 22 and Oct. 29.

The honorary coach will have the opportunity to be part of all the team’s game day preparations, visit the locker room before the contest and watch the game from the Arkansas Tech sideline at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field.

Similar honorary coach programs have been carried out across America over the past five years as part of an ongoing partnership between the Wounded Warrior Project and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

Another promotion scheduled for this fall will be a special volleyball jersey night hosted by the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns.

The Golden Suns will wear red, white and blue jerseys for their 7 p.m. Great American Conference match against Ouachita Baptist at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Oct. 11.

The jerseys will be auctioned following the match with all proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Similar events will be carried out throughout the remainder of the 2011-12 academic year by other Arkansas Tech teams.

According to the organization’s Web site (http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/), the Wounded Warrior Project has three purposes: to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members; to help injured service members aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

For more information about the Arkansas Tech Athletics Department’s involvement in the Wounded Warrior Project, send e-mail to kbayer@atu.edu.

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