This past Saturday was game day! The FIU football team took on Charlotte’s 49ers and won 48 to 31. Although winning the game was a proud panther moment, this football game was special for other reasons. At this game, FIU honored the veterans and first responders in our community.
Before the game, the FIU Student Government Association and the FIU Student Veterans of America came together to provide a complimentary breakfast to all the veterans and first responders in our FIU community – a “salute to hometown heroes.” There was an assortment of bagels, cookies, muffins and other treats and the smell of freshly brewed coffee filled the room. It was located at the Parkview multi-purpose room. Many of the attendees brought their families.
“The Salute to Hometown Heroes was an opportunity to meet and engage with our students who have served our country and thank them for their service. Everyone on campus has a story and that’s what I love most about working at FIU and with SGA. We are able to create many opportunities for students to share and hear each other’s stories,” said Shannonlee Rodriguez, an SGA advisor.
Vincent Rodriguez, the SGA Veteran Affairs Coordinator was in charge of planning the event. He served in the United States Marines for five years and his brother is in active duty now.
Rodriguez said, “I felt that it was my responsibility to host a successful event to ensure the military is continued to been seen in a positive light. Luckily I had plenty of help from my fellow veterans in SVA and student officials in SGA.”
After the breakfast, everyone walked over to the game together. The group was filled with positive energy and spirit as they joined other panther fans in the stands. FIU Athletics made special edition FIU spirit shirts that honored the veterans. The shirt design featured our FIU Panther and “FIU” with the American Flag. As you scanned the stands, you could see everyone was wearing the shirts to honor our heroes.
“It’s always amazing to see my alma mater support the people who support our freedom. I think it speaks volumes about our university; students at FIU aren’t just students. We mean something to our school and the game honoring our veterans is a clear example of this. Being there last weekend not only made me proud of our servicemen and servicewomen, but it also made me proud to be an FIU Panther.” Said FIU Junior, Sergio Morales.