MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Middle Tennessee State University's 36th Salute to Veterans and Armed Forces events paid tribute to Gold Star Families Saturday (Nov. 4) in special ceremonies across campus.
Howard said "thank you" numerous times ... for the opportunity to thank MTSU for inviting her and presenting the Gold Star Brick and to thank those who served. A woman with countless awards, she said "the Gold Star Brick means more to me than anything. ... I'm totally blown away by being here today."
Country music singer and songwriter Bill Anderson, a member of both the Country Music and Nashville Songwriter halls of fame, introduced Howard. Grand Ole Opry star John Conlee sang "They Also Serve."
English professor Jimmie Cain read "To a Gold Star Mother" from the Veterans Memorial in Barnesville, Ohio. Professor Derek Frisby of the history department paid tribute to Gold Star Families and Vietnam-era veterans.
Members of the motorcycle group, Rolling Thunder, performed the posting to the colors. MTSU student veteran, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joe Gross, played taps.
Alumnus and retired vet John Furgess (Class of '65), who co-founded the Salute to Veterans event with Nunley, presented the award to Hood. Nunley was a university education professor who later became alumni director. He died in 1993.
The MTSU Band of Blue performs military fight songs for the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy during a patriotic halftime salute parade across Horace Jones Field.
Earlier in the day, MTSU and university President Sidney A. McPhee hosted the General Officers Luncheon for all generals who have served and retired with that rank. Family members attended for deceased Brig. Gens. Edward N. Fletcher and Noah D. Daniel.
McPhee provided the keynote remarks and State Sen. Bill Ketron read a proclamation before retired Lt. Gen. Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veteans and leadership initiatives, unveiled a plaque. Retired Brig. Gen. David Ogg Jr. provided the welcome and general officer introductions for the Hall of Fame induction.
Retired Brig. Gens. Stanley H. Lillie of Alexandria, Virginia, Terry A. Ethridge of Smithville, Tennessee, James B. Burton of Clifton, Virginia, and James P. ONeal of Seabrook, South Carolina; retired Maj. Gen. James R. Myles of Huntsville, Alabama, and Maj. Gen. Terry M. "Max" Haston of Knoxville, Tennessee; and Lt. Gen. William N. Phillips of Madison, Alabama, were inducted into the Military Science Alumni Chapter Hall of Fame.
Lillie and Ethridge were unable to attend. Haston is Tennessee's 75th adjutant general with the Army National Guard in Nashville. Ogg is president of the Military Science Alumni Chapter.