By Randy York, The N-Sider
Nebraska Athletics Trainer Jerry Weber is so interwoven into Husker history, few things can bring a tear to his eye or make him clear his throat. This weekend, however, may be a rare exception.
Nebraska's three-game series against Rutgers at Hawks Field will celebrate Military Appreciation Weekend. All veterans and military personnel will receive free general admission with a military ID. Nebraska will honor military veterans George Sullivan and the late Bob Cerv – two iconic fixtures in Nebraska's tradition-rich history.
The first 750 fans through the home plate entrance on Friday night will receive a free Bob Cerv bobblehead. Saturday, Nebraska will recognize veterans, including those who are currently serving and in the crowd at Hawks.
Sunday will be a double-barreled festivity for Sullivan, who will celebrate his 90th birthday on Saturday. The Huskers' legendary trainer, who received an honorary Nebraska letter last fall, will throw out the first pitch at Sunday's series finale.
The timing could not be more poignant. A post-World War II veteran, Sullivan and fellow vets will be honored in tandem with a military flyover during the National Anthem.
“I think it's great we're recognizing George's 90th birthday and paying tribute to his military service,” Weber said. “He's a great man, a great patriot and a great servant to our country and our university.”
The same sentiment applies to Cerv, who died at age 91 last month. “Both were about the same age and both served our country,” Weber pointed out. “It's always an honor to recognize service men and women. George never talked much about the experience. I just know that he was 18 when he began to serve and started out in France before he went to Germany and became part of the cleanup after the war was over.
“George is still sharp, speaks well and knows everything that's going on,” Weber said. “He's lost enough weight that I had to take him a smaller size for his new Husker polo. He's quite a man.”
He is indeed. In honor of George Finley “Sully” Sullivan, The N-Sider offers up an interesting blog where he once told me his choices as the three 'toughest Huskers ever' in football. You will enjoy reading his rationale.
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