Saturday's game to feature Oklahoma National Guard recognition and F-16 flyover.
NORMAN, Okla. -
The University of Oklahoma will honor of the many contributions and sacrifices made by active-duty military personnel, veterans and their families throughout Saturday's football game against Baylor.
On behalf of the University, a ceremonial game ball will be presented the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Oklahoma National Guard by President David L. Boren, Chairman of the OU Board of Regents Dr. Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes and Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione just prior to the start of the pregame show.
Military officials anticipated to participate in the ceremony include Major General Myles Deering, Brigadier General James Richardson, Colonel Joel Ward, Command Sergeant Major Robert Maxwell and First Lieutenant Christopher Leblo.
Over the past year, 3,400 members of the Guard have returned from Afghanistan. During this deployment, 11 soldiers were killed in action, three more later died of their wounds and 289 members were injured in battle. In all, 180 soldiers were awarded the Purple Heart. There will also be an in-game presentation to thank the Oklahoma National Guard for their participation in the pregame show for the Notre Dame game.
The festivities continue during the National Anthem as the 93rd Fighter Squadron from Homestead Air Reserve Base in Miami, Fla., will conduct an F-16 flyover. Among the five-person crew are two 1995 graduates of the University of Oklahoma, Major Robin Lytle and Major Jeff Milburn.
In addition, Staff Sergeant Robie Stricklin of Skiatook, Okla., will be recognized in game as part of OU's Sooner Fan Favorites program. Stricklin nominated the late OU All-American Bob Kalsu to be featured on the design for Saturday's game ticket. Joining in the presentation will be Bob Kalsu, Jr., the son of the former Sooners great. While serving in Iraq, Stricklin had the privilege of serving at Forward Operating Base Kalsu.
Kalsu earned All-America honors in 1967 as an offensive tackle while helping the Sooners to a Big 8 Championship. Kalsu was selected in the eighth round of the NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills in 1968, but his professional career was cut short. Kalsu was called to join the U.S. Army's highly decorated 101st Airborne Division. On July 21, 1970, he was killed by North Vietnamese mortar fire. He was the only pro football player to be killed during the Vietnam Conflict.
The Pride of Oklahoma will conduct a patriotic halftime salute, including a military medley to honor each branch of the armed forces. The halftime show will conclude with a stirring rendition of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Throughout the game, SoonerVision will honor Oklahoma's military personnel serving around the world. In addition, the flag of the United States will be proudly displayed on all locations at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium where OU school colors are customarily flown.