By MIKE A. GLASCH, Fort Jackson LeaderNovember 19, 2009
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Honor, courage and sacrifice on the field were the focal point for tributes during Saturday's football game between the University of South Carolina and the University of Florida at Williams-Brice Stadium.
However, it was not the players in uniform being honored for their actions on the playing field, but rather the men and women who wear the uniform to fight for their country on the battlefield.
More than 250 service members representing all five services took part in halftime ceremonies during the Gamecocks annual salute to the military.
Some of the highlights of the ceremony included the 282nd U.S. Army Band performing with the USC marching band, a 21-gun salute honoring those who have died in service to their country and a flyover of F/A-18 Hornets from Marine Air Station Beaufort.
USC also honored wounded warriors. Three South Carolina natives who were injured while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan served as honorary team captains.
The Gamecocks wore black uniforms with desert camouflage numbers and the Wounded Warrior Project logo. The players' names were replaced with seven characteristics meant to honor service members - duty, honor, courage, commitment, integrity, country and service.
The jerseys are being auctioned off on the university Web site, with all the proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization that aims to:
- Raise awareness and seek the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service members.
- Help severely injured service members aid and assist each other.
- Provide programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members.
The University of Maryland donned similar uniforms for their game and is auctioning them off as well.