Contrary to what your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds may suggest, Memorial Day isn’t only about cookouts, pool parties, and booze. It’s about the men and women who serve our country that make all of those fun things possible. In the BBN, those sacrifices are particularly poignant during events like the Final Four, when the word “homesick” is surely an understatement.
Earlier today on Twitter, I asked servicemen and women to share their stories and pictures from following UK’s big tournament run abroad. I got some pretty awesome responses…
Matt Mowery writes that he just got back from a nine month deployment in Egypt. His unit is from Fort Hood, Texas, so he only had about four or five die-hard native Kentuckians with him, but they watched all the games via the Armed Forces Network (AFN) or online streams. He was also in Korea during the 2012 title run, and because of the time difference (13 hours ahead in Korea; 7 hours in Egypt), changed his sleeping habits or asked to miss some work because of games. During each run, Matt said listening to the Lexington police scanner stream was a must.
Judy Priddy sent in this picture of her nephew JT, and his wife, Misty, who are currently serving in Okinawa, Japan.
Josh Fetherland is also stationed in Okinawa and says UK’s tournament games made for some very early mornings for him (the Wichita State game was on at 5 a.m. his time), but he always changed his work schedule to watch online or on the AFN.
Kirsten writes that she and her family were in Italy during the run and had to listen to the games on the radio, which made for an amazing experience.
Then, of course, there are those who gave their lives for our freedom, like second lieutenant Jeffrey Graham, a 2003 UK graduate who was killed in Iraq back in 2004:
I’m sure there are so many more stories, and I encourage you to share them in the comments.