High schools pay tribute to veterans at local basketball games

High schools pay tribute to veterans at local basketball games

OREGON, OH (WTOL) - It's a special weekend across Ohio at high school basketball games.

Active members of the military as well as veterans are being honored by their alma maters and by the schools their children and grandchildren attend.

The statewide tribute to troops is the idea of the Ohio High School Athletic Association. If you're serving or served in the military you get into the games for free.

"I think it's great," Andrew Baldwin of the U.S. Army said. "Shows the support that the schools give to the military throughout the community."

Teams across the state recognized every branch of the armed forces in their own way.

At Clay High School, cheerleaders wore USA t-shirts, while the student section became a giant waving flag.

"It's always nice to feel recognized and appreciated for what you're doing and also to show appreciation our service members are making," Jimmy Campbell of the U.S. Coast Guard said.

During the pre-game ceremonies, Clay unveiled a large 15x18 foot flag that unfurls at center court from the ceiling. The flag was a gift from the Clay Alumni Association.

"It's something that is a statement flag," Superintendent Hal Gregory said. "Something that everyone who attends any game here represents our patriotism."

Recent Clay graduate Stephen Pulter showed his patriotism by signing up for the U.S. Navy.

"I just wanted to join the service, get good education opportunities for myself and see the world," Pulter said.

He will follow in the tradition of those who proudly served to keep our country free.

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