Aug. 28, 2014

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Navy, Army and Air Force ROTC programs long have been a source of pride at the University of Notre Dame. The University will pay tribute to those Notre Dame men and women who serve and have served in defense of our nation with a military appreciation weekend in conjunction with the Notre Dame-Rice football game Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.

Current and past members of the Notre Dame Navy, Army and Air Force ROTC programs will be introduced and honored in a number of ways and at events on campus throughout the weekend.

At the “Notre Dame Football Live” luncheon on Friday in the Notre Dame Joyce Center Fieldhouse, a three-minute video produced by Notre Dame Fighting Digital Media (FIDM) will be shown prior to the introduction of top officials from each of Notre Dame’s three ROTC branches on campus. Captain Michael B. Ryan, commanding officer Navy ROTC; Lt. Col. John Polhamus, commanding officer Army ROTC, and Colonel Frank J. Rossi, commanding officer Air Force ROTC, will be introduced and interviewed on stage by luncheon emcee Jack Nolan.

Other special guests who will be recognized at the luncheon include: Ricky Nishizuka (father) and Karyn Hatayana (mother), the parents of deceased 2005 Notre Dame graduate and Air Force Captain Reid K. Nishizuka, who lost his life while serving in Afghanistan in 2013; Navy Lt. and former football walk-on Nick Possey and his wife, Emily, also a Notre Dame graduate who served in the military, and Sergeant First Class Cory Jacob Remsburg, who drew national attention back in January 2014 when he was featured in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and was saluted for his courageous recovery from serious injuries suffered in Afghanistan.

The officers and weekend guests recognized at the luncheon also will be introduced at the Friday night pep rally at 6:00 p.m. in front of the Rockne Memorial on the South Quad.

The national colors will be presented prior to Saturday’s football game by Nishizuka, Hatayana, the Posseys, Marine Corps Maj. Edward O’Connell, a former football player and 2003 Notre Dame alumnus, and Remsburg, who also will be joined on the field by his father Craig.

Tri-Military ROTC support staff members Jeannette Bybee, Richard Kindred Jr., Joan Golubski, Carla May, Joseph Jeffo, Janet Million, Jon Jesse and Connie Pearson will be recognized on the Notre Dame Stadium field Saturday at the first timeout in the first quarter, as part of the Presidential Team Irish Award.

During its traditional halftime performance, the Notre Dame band will perform a musical tribute to the five military branches — Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines. Cadets from each of Notre Dame’s Air Force, Army and Navy ROTC programs will unfurl a giant American flag on the field at the end of the musical presentation.

Throughout the weekend, military vehicles also will be on display around campus.