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WKU to honor 1LT Eric Yates during 2011 Veterans Day events on Nov. 11

1LT Eric D. Yates, a WKU Army ROTC graduate who was killed last year in Afghanistan, will be honored Nov. 11 as part of WKU’s observance of Veterans Day.

Eric D. Yates

Yates, a 2008 graduate from Rineyville, will be featured on a new granite panel that will be unveiled at the Guthrie Tower and will be inducted into the WKU ROTC Hall of Fame.

Members of the Yates family and 85 members of his unit from Fort Campbell will attend the Veterans Day ceremony that begins at 11 a.m. at the Guthrie Tower. The Hall of Fame induction will begin at 11:45 a.m. at the Kentucky Museum.

The members of Yates’ unit will join about 200 others from the campus, community and the Hilltopper Batallion for the ROTC program’s 5K run at 6:30 a.m. Nov. 11. Proceeds from the 5K run will benefit the 1LT Eric Yates Memorial Scholarship.

Yates was killed in action Sept. 18, 2010, after an IED exploded while he was on a foot patrol in Maquan, Zahari District, Afghanistan. He was a fire support officer for Company B, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell.

Yates received the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge and Overseas Service Bar.

Yates’ name also will be among the more than 6,000 read Nov. 11 during the Remembrance Day National Roll Call at Mass Media and Technology Hall.

In addition to Yates, the WKU ROTC Hall of Fame will induct Lt. Col. Thomas Kenneth Hightower of Bowling Green, a 1960 WKU graduate.

Between 1963 and 1977, Hightower served in Germany, Panama, Vietnam, South Korea and at the Pentagon. From 1978 to 1980, he served in the Department of Army Material Development and Readiness Command.

Hightower received the Distinguished Service Cross in 1967 for extraordinary heroism in combat in Vietnam. His other awards include Bronze Star (Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Occupation Medal, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Staff Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, General Staff Identification Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (Palm Unit Citation) and Meritorious Service Unit Citation.

Here is the schedule of Veterans Day 2011 at WKU:

  • 6 a.m.: Wreath placed at Guthrie Tower.
  • 6:30 a.m.: 5K Unit Run from Diddle Arena auxiliary gym to downtown Bowling Green and back to Diddle Arena.
  • 9 a.m.: Remembrance Day National Roll Call at Mass Media and Technology Hall Auditorium. Names of Kentucky soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan will be read beginning at 3 p.m.
  • 11 a.m.: Veterans Day ceremony at Guthrie Tower. Program will include remarks from WKU President Gary Ransdell and LTC Jason Caldwell and the unveiling of the Yates etching.
  • 11:45 a.m.: ROTC Hall of Fame induction at Kentucky Museum. Program includes the induction of Eric D. Yates and Ken Hightower.

Contact: Lorie Estes, (270) 745-4293.

WKU to honor veterans at basketball games Nov. 11-12

WKU will honoring veterans at the men’s and women’s basketball home openers Friday and Saturday (Nov. 11-12) at E.A. Diddle Arena in conjunction with Veterans Day.

Fans entering the arena for both games will receive an American flag while supplies last, and the WKU Army ROTC will present a large American flag at mid-court during the National Anthem. All Sun Belt Conference member institutions will be participating in a conference-wide moment of silence to reflect upon service given to our country by the men and women of the armed forces.

Also, prior to the men’s basketball game against Saint Joseph’s at 7 p.m. Friday, five veterans attending programs all across the WKU campus will be honored in a pre-game ceremony. These veterans will receive a Challenge Coin from the Sun Belt Conference Office.

Receiving the Challenge Coin from Lieutenant Colonel Jason Caldwell on Friday are:

  •   Corporal Alex Aguirre
  •   Sergeant First Class Chad Larkin
  •   Staff Sergeant William R. Sluss
  •   Petty Officer Julian Heinze
  •   Sergeant First Class (retired) Myra Fishburn

Five veterans from the WKU Veterans Upward Bound program will be honored in a similar fashion before the women’s game against Towson at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Receiving the Challenge Coin from Sergeant First Class Gary Keeton on Saturday are:

  •   Staff Sergeant Cedric Davis
  •   Master Sergeant Ronald M. Hicks
  •   Specialist George F. Noe
  •   Sergeant Troy Blanton
  •   Quarter Master Second Class Daniel Loesch

Earlier this month, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams met with the WKU Army ROTC to discuss proper pre-game etiquette during the Color Guard presentations and National Anthem before games this season.

Guinness World Record Attempt Following Lady Topper Game Saturday: Following Saturday’s WKU women’s basketball game against Towson, fans will be invited to participate in a game of basketball knockout to attempt to break the world record for the largest game of basketball knockout. The current record is 379 participants and was achieved by Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind., on April 8, 2011. The winner of the game will receive a free 40-inch flat-screen television. The WKU football game at No. 1 LSU will be shown on the videoboard at E.A. Diddle Arena following the Lady Topper game and world record attempt. Admission to the arena for the football watch party is free. For information, contact the WKU Athletic Marketing Office at (270) 745-6048.

Contact: Athletic Media Relations, (270) 745-4298.

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