Military heroes will guard the gates of Nebraska fooball legends Saturday.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Nine Nebraskans Saturday's Gate Sentinels

By NU Athletic Communications

Randy York's N-Sider

Official N-Sider of the Huskers

From Burma to Belgium, Seoul to Saigon and Kuwait to Kandahar, Nebraska Athletics will honor nine Nebraskans who served in our nation’s Armed Forces and represent all military branches and modern armed military conflicts. The nine veterans are honorary gate sentinels for Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. nationally televised Nebraska-Northwestern Big Ten matchup on BTN. They will be introduced on the field 40 minutes before kickoff and be joined by 200 active military and veterans who will be sitting on the East Stadium apron as part of the Huskers’ annual Military & Veterans Day Salute.

Thirteen minutes before kickoff, the Cornhusker Marching Band will play an Armed Forces Medley, followed immediately by the Star Spangled Banner with a full color guard representing all branches of military service. While the band plays the National Anthem, the names of those with Nebraska ties who have died since 9-11 will be scrolled on the stadium’s screens. Later, five minutes before the second-half kickoff, all past and present heroes, including veterans and active duty military personnel, will be asked to stand, so another record Memorial Stadium sellout crowd can show its respect and appreciation for their service to this country.

Air Traffic Controller Big Help for Big Day

Terry Currey, a United States Air Force Staff Sergeant (E-5) and air traffic controller who served in Viet Nam and lives in Omaha, provides invaluable help to Nebraska Athletics. He was stationed at a big Marine Base in Da Nang, so he’s been through the gruel and the grind of a war that was difficult in so many ways. Terry helps our department identify, interact with and invite the honorary gate sentinels. He is a meticulous researcher, a precise writer and a man who wants nothing but the best for the military men and women and their families who are honored annually.

Currey is driven to volunteer countless hours to help Husker fans – both inside the stadium and at home – know and appreciate what the honorees have experienced and accomplished. “They grant us the peaceful sleep that they can never know because they were forever vigilant and courageously protecting all that we love,” he said. “They did what war makes necessary and too often were faced with taking the lives of others or sacrificing their own. There is no greater burden one person can bear and no greater honor than one nation can return.”

Combat Stirs Fear of Harm, Fear of Failure

Fear has two faces when it comes to combat, according to Currey – the fear of harm and the fear of failure, and he’s convinced that faith and faith alone, carried all the honorary sentinels through their military challenges. “They had faith in God, faith in themselves, faith in each other, faith in their leaders, and the faith that their mission was righteous and just,” he said.

Two Cities, Adams, Palisade, Gresham, Wilber

In tribute to all Nebraskans who have served in our nation’s Armed Forces, we proudly introduce to Husker fans all over the world the following nine Nebraskans who were selected to serve as Saturday’s honorary gate sentinels:

From Lincoln, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and Army Air Corps Captain Lester Arasmith, who was a fighter pilot in Viet Nam, Korea and in the Pacific during World War II, where he helped destroy six enemy aircraft. He is also a World War II aerical combat ace and has received multiple air medals and distinguished flying crosses.

From Adams, Neb., former U.S. Navy Ensign Don McPherson, who served in World War II in the Pacific as a combat aviator aboard the U.S. Aircraft Carrier Essex and downed five enemy aircraft. Another aerical combat ace, he also has received multiple air medals and distinguished flying crosses.

From Omaha, former U.S. Marine Corps Corporal John Dickinson, who fought in Korea and in the Pacific during World War II. In the battle of Iwo Jima, he handled communications for the storied Navajo Windtalkers.

From Palisade, Neb., retired U.S. Coast Guard Master Chief Petty Officer Billy Smith, who served in Viet Nam as part of his 22½ years as a machinery technician in the Coast Guard.

From Gresham, Neb., former U.S. Army Sergeant Mark Romohr, who fought in the World War II Battle of the Bulge and was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor.

From Lincoln, former U.S. Army Corporal Scotty Kaufman, who served in World War II. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge with General Patton’s 3rd Army.

From Wilber, Neb., former U.S. Navy Women Reserve Waves Seaman First-Class Phyllis Greer Schupbach, who served in World War II as a postal operator in the Fleet Post Office in San Francisco.

From Omaha, former U.S. Army Reserve Specialist Michael Riggs, who served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm as a medical supply specialist with the 403rd Military Police POW Camp.

From Lincoln, Nebraska Air National Guard Master Sergeant Jody Kouma, who served in Operation Enduring Freedom as First Sergeant with the 451st Expeditionary Operations Group at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.

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