Purdue University Fort Wayne’s annual Military Appreciation Day will be Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Science Mall.
The event includes a scheduled flyover from the 122nd Fighter Wing, Indiana Air National Guard, featuring two A-10s at approximately 11:11 a.m., weather permitting. The flyover is subject to change based on guidance from the wing. The significance of the timing is to remember the armistice that went into effect at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, which signaled the end of what was at that time considered to be the “war to end all wars.”
There will also be a Blackhawk helicopter on display, and a rappelling team will conduct demonstrations off parking garage P1—both activities are also dependent on favorable weather conditions.
“We will have several demonstration tables that [attendees] can actively participate in that include trying MREs, or Meals Ready-to-Eat, being able to try on some military gear, a grenade toss, and a non-alcoholic Purdue Fort Wayne version of Grog,” said Nicole Welsh of Military Student Services. “There will be an obstacle course that students can participate in, as well as food and live music.”
The goal of the event is to bridge the gap between military and veteran students and more traditional students. The Military Student Services office annually works with more than 160 students a year.