SAVANNAH, Ga. - Current and future soldiers were celebrated during the Military Appreciation Night held during basketball games at Tiger Arena on Savannah State University Campus Jan. 27.

"This is a very important honor for us," said Dr. Cheryl Davenport Dozier, president of SSU. "We support our military, and are thankful for all our men and women who serve."

Dozier went on to say that SSU has had a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps here for over 40 years and an Army ROTC program as well.

"We are so proud of our alumni who served, and our students who continue to serve. We are part of this military community and our campus is open to continue educating those military members and their families so that they can continue their education," continued Dozier.

To kick off the game Sgt. 1st Class Dana Fischl, vocalist, 3rd Infantry Division Band, sang the national anthem in front of a color guard-supplied by the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade-and the home crowd. Fischl, a seven-year veteran with the 3rd ID Band, kept a sense of humor about the stress she felt while singing.

"It's kind of like singing in the shower, but a lot more fun because I'm paying tribute to our nation by using my gift and it's my honor to do that," said Fischl.

Casandra Mahoney was one of 25 people from the greater Savannah/Hinesville area who were sworn into service during a ceremony at halftime. Mahoney signed up to be a health care specialist, which is referred to in the Army as a combat medic.

"I have a lot of family members who have served in the Army," said Mahoney. "It's a duty that I want to fulfill. I knew I wanted to be in the medical field. I like helping people and taking care of them."

Additionally, Sgt. Eric Douse, Company B, 603rd Maintenance Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, received an award for winning the 3rd CAB noncommissioned officer of the year during a television timeout of the men's basketball game.

"It's an honor to win; I worked hard for it," said Douse. "It's awesome that I get to wear this uniform and be recognized in front of the crowd."

Douse was excited to be a part of the ceremony, and excited for the 25 new recruits who were sworn in.

"It's part of my job to take these young kids and turn them into adults. Not only as soldiers, but to help set them up for success for the rest of their life," said Douse.

Page last updated Fri January 31st, 2014 at 00:00