Smith on Sports: Military deserves to be recognized for its service

Danny P. Smith

Sports Editor

It’s mid November and many people are turning their thoughts toward Thanksgiving next week.

Christmas and the celebration of a new year will follow not far behind.

Although all of these holidays are knocking on our door, it felt more like the Fourth of July Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville.

Military Appreciation Day was observed during Mississippi State’s last home game against Arkansas and all of the festivities gave everyone a reason to once again feel like proud Americans.

It was a special day in Starkville.

The Famous Maroon Band presented its patriotic halftime show called “Salute to America” and it never ceases to send chills up and down my spine. For anyone that has not seen it, it’s worth the price of admission just to check that out. The band should never take that performance out of their plans for a season.

Honoring America and recognizing veterans was the definite theme of the day. The military certainly needs to be acknowledged for what it does in defending our freedom.

It was very much on the mind of MSU head football coach Joe Moorhead.

“First and foremost, we would like to thank all of our veterans and people who have served in the armed forces," Moorhead said to open his post game press conference. "We’re really appreciative of everything the people in the armed forces do for us."

The Bulldogs came out in their commemorative Adidas Primeknit A1 “Statesman” uniforms inspired by the Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III plane named “The Spirit of G.V. Sonny Montgomery.”
Montgomery, a 1943 Mississippi State graduate, was a member of the United States Army and was a second lieutenant during World War II where he was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor, Legion of Merit and Combat Infantry Badge.

He served in active duty during the Korean Conflict in the 31st National Guard Infantry Division with a long and distinguished career in the Mississippi National Guard. After 35 years, he retired with the rank of Major General.

It was nice to see MSU pay tribute to a man like Montgomery in this way. He was a good man and a great American.

The uniforms may not have been the traditional maroon and white colors that the Bulldogs usually wear, but they did look sharp and provided a good look. The players seemed to enjoy wearing them.

On Monday, the hand-painted helmets will be available to the public via auction beginning at noon on Proceeds will benefit the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Center for America's Veterans. Bids will start at $1,500 and there will also be a buy now option beginning at $2,500.

When considering Christmas, something like that might be the perfect gift for somebody and it goes to a good cause.

Danny P. Smith is the sports editor and columnist for The Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SDN or its staff.