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Posted on Mon, Aug 24, 2009 : 12:09 p.m.

Eastern Michigan University to honor veterans with discounted tickets against Army

By Staff

With a season-opening opponent like Army, Eastern Michigan University officials figured it made sense to honor area armed-service veterans at that time.

It's part of their plan to boost attendance for a program trying to turn things around under a new coach.

Eastern Michigan will offer $3 tickets for veterans who purchase in advance of the Eagles' Sept. 5 opener against Army at Rynearson Stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Veterans wishing to buy the tickets can do so at the school's athletic website, and using the promotional code: veterans. One dollar from each ticket will be donated to Eastern Michigan's ROTC program to help enhance their training facilities, Eastern Michigan athletic director Derrick Gragg said in a release issued Monday.

"We are very appreciative of our armed forces and all that they do for our country,” Gragg said in the release.

A salute to veterans begins two hours before kickoff with tailgating in the Eagles Landing Tailgate Zone. Fans can ring in Ron English's first season with live entertainment, hot air balloon rides, interactive games for kids and a variety of activities designed for all ages.

The first 2,000 fans will receive an EMU football magnet and an Eagle Nation t-shirt. The first 500 fans will also receive EMU Dog Tags.

Eagles Landing will also welcome new students to campus by giving them the chance to participate in a free raffle. By showing their student identification cards, incoming freshmen can register to win a big screen plasma TV, an iPod, a Dell computer, and one of several other prizes to enhance their academic college experience.

Winners will be announced throughout the game and must be present to win.

The school's game day festivities will also feature a 5 p.m. 5-kilometer run and fireworks which will take place after the conclusion the Eastern Michigan-Army game.