Columbia, SC – Saturday’s game against Wofford is Military Appreciation Day, including our annual Salute to the Military halftime show. Be sure to stay in your seats for this special annual event.
As part of the event several members of the armed forces will be recognized. The honorees will represent all of our veterans as well as those presently serving. The honorees will be presented with a special football by University President Harris Pastides and Athletics Director Ray Tanner. Learn more about them below:
Johnny Mayo and Buck
Mayo was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade 39th Scout Dog Platoon in Vietnam. He and his faithful Siberian Husky, Buck, will be paying tribute to the handlers and the dogs who helped save American lives on the battlefield. His awards include the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, The Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.
Major Walter Reece
Reece is a graduate of the Class of 1991 at the University of South Carolina. He is a UH-1 Huey Pilot and has served in the Marines for 20 years, including multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His awards include the Air Medal Strike/Flight, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals.
Lieutenant Colonel John Wright
Lieutenant Colonel John Wright has served in a variety of command assignments during his 26 years of service, including Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Currently he is the Commander of the Gamecock Battalion. Some of his numerous awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
Lieutenant General Dana Kyle Chipman
Chipman is the the Judge Advocate General of the United States Army. He began his service with the 4th Infantry Division where he served as a platoon leader and company executive officer. He earned a juris doctor from the Stanford Law School and holds degrees from the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School and the United States Army War College. During his long and illustrious career he has earned many awards including the following: Defense Meritorious Service Medal, The Legion of Merit, The Bronze Star, and the Army Commendation Medal.
Corporal Kevin Brewington
Corporal Brewington was serving in Afghanistan in September of 2011 with the 125th Stryker Brigade. While on patrol he stepped on an IED, losing both his legs and leaving him with a severe injury to his right arm. His awards include the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
133rd Military Police Company
The 133rd Military Police Company conducted over 600 joint patrols while serving in Afghanistan to help train and partner with the Afghan uniformed police. On June 20, 2012, they came under one of the heaviest and most devastating attacks of the the campaign due to an insurgent suicide bomber. Despite losing three soldiers and having five seriously wounded, they continued to fight with great discipline and focus. The company has been awarded the Valorous and Meritorious Unit Awards, and soldiers from the company have received 21 Bronze Stars, 10 Purple Hearts and 142 Army Commendation Medals.