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Syracuse University to Host ‘Fort Drum Youth Football Day’ for Children of Fort Drum Military Families
In 1946, Syracuse University welcomed more than 10,000 veterans to its campus, doubling enrollment among service men and women returning from World War II. Since then, Syracuse University has been a national leader in attracting, welcoming and empowering veterans and military families.
That longstanding tradition continues today as Syracuse University and the Syracuse Football Program prepare to welcome children of Fort Drum military families to campus on Sunday, Aug. 13, for “Fort Drum Youth Football Day.” The youth football players, whose family members serve in the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division stationed at Fort Drum, will participate in a skills clinic and autograph session.
“Syracuse University has deep admiration and respect for the members of our armed forces, our veterans and the families who support them,” says John Wildhack, director of athletics. “We are grateful for their service, their sacrifice and the many ways they make our community a better place. We are proud to welcome those families and their children to campus on Sunday.”
The event aligns with and supports Chancellor Kent Syverud’s commitment to make Syracuse University the best place in America for veterans. This effort has included a series of strategic initiatives, including the creation of the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF).
The University will further that commitment with the forthcoming construction of the National Veterans Resource Complex, a first-of-its-kind multi-use facility dedicated to advancing academic research, programming and community-connected innovation serving the social, economic and wellness concerns of the nation’s veterans and families. It also follows a significant acknowledgement of the University’s commitment to veterans. In November, the Military Times’ Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 ranking listed Syracuse University as the #1 private school in the nation, #3 overall for service members, military veterans and their families.
“Under Chancellor Syverud’s leadership, Syracuse has taken a number of important steps to enhance its offerings and expand academic opportunities for military-connected students and families,” says J. Michael Haynie, vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation. “I am proud of our Department of Athletics for continuing its commitment to this vision and am thankful to John and Coach Dino Babers for creating such a unique opportunity for the sons and daughters of Fort Drum service men and women.”
More recently, the football program has spent some of its preseason camp on post at Fort Drum and hosted soldiers for the “Syracuse Football-Fort Drum Combine” in 2015 and 2016 at the Ensley Athletic Center. The 10th Mountain Division has also entered teams in the Orange’s “Lift for Life” each of the past two years.
“The players, coaching staff and I are thrilled to welcome such a great group of kids to campus for a fun and educational football clinic,” says Babers. “Our program is proud of our partnership with our area’s veterans, service members and their family members. They do so much for our nation and our community and it is our honor to continue and extend our relationship with such selfless individuals.”
Campers will watch a portion of Syracuse’s practice and hear presentations by senior linebacker Zaire Franklin (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and tight ends coach Reno Ferri. The players will also receive skill instruction from SU coaches and players.
The event continues a partnership between Syracuse Athletics and the 10th Mountain Division that began in 2002 when the department hosted “A Hero’s Welcome” to pay tribute to the families and friends who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Sunday’s event is one piece of the overall Syracuse Athletics Military Appreciation Program, presented by SEFCU, which includes a variety of military-themed recognitions across all SU sports throughout the academic year. One of those engagement initiatives is the “Cuse for the Troops” ticket program. For $20, fans can sponsor a ticket to the Syracuse-Wake Forest football game on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and send a member of our armed forces to the game for free. To sponsor a ticket, click here or call the Carrier Dome Box Office at 888-DOME-TIX.
Syracuse Athletics also offers the “Military Pass,” which grants active-duty military personnel and veterans two complimentary tickets to a home football game each month of the 2017 season. Complimentary tickets are available for SU’s Sept. 9 game against Middle Tennessee and the Oct. 7 game against Pittsburgh during Orange Central Weekend. On Nov. 11, veterans and active-duty military may receive up to four free tickets to the Wake Forest game on Military Appreciation Day, presented by SEFCU.
Complimentary tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and must be requested at least five (5) days prior to the game. Military personnel should register here with their Troop ID to reserve tickets.
The Orange open the 2017 season at the Carrier Dome Friday, Sept. 1, against Central Connecticut State.