Salute to Vol Nation Veterans

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    Everyone at RTI would like to wish all those who have served our country, as well as those currently serving, a very happy and healthy Veterans Day. The collective sacrifice made by all of you is something we hold sacred. Please know how much your service means to us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

    In that spirit, we asked our followers to send us images and stories of some Vol Nation Veterans so we could put together this little tribute. If you missed the boat on sending something in, PLEASE leave a comment below. We’d love to read about and pay homage to you and or your friend / family member!

    Let’s start with a man who is synonymous with the team we love to root for, General Neyland.

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    Rest in peace, General. Thank you for what you meant to Tennessee Football. But more importantly, thank you for serving our country.

    @richmond_325 sent us this:

    “This is my grandfather who was killed in action in 1950 during the Korean War. SGT. Flavious Joseph Williamson.”

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    Rest in peace, Sergeant. Thank you for your service and for the ultimate sacrifice you made. It will never be forgotten.

    Rebecca Cash sent us this picture of her husband representing the USMC. Michael Cash , Knoxville Tn.

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    God bless you, Michael Cash, and thank you for your service.

    Lillian Lopez sent us the following image of SFC (retired) John Lopez.

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    Way to rep the orange, Sergeant Lopez. But more importantly, way to rep our country, sir. Thank you. And happy Veterans Day!

    This one was sent by PJ Camac. (He’s the one on the bottom row, left-hand side.) He writes:

    “We were stationed at Camp Pendleton, Ca. 3rd LAAD Batalion Bravo Battery Barbaric Bastards. We did our tours in Iraq. Don’t let the baby faces fool ya.”

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    We won’t, PJ! Here’s one of just him:

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    We salute you, Phillip J. Camac. And please send along our heartfelt thanks to the rest of your boys. (Worth noting: PJ is one of the admins of the RockyTopBlitz Facebook page — great page — and is one of the craziest, most passionate Vol fans I know.)

    This one came from curtisturner. He writes:

    “This is Lance Corporal Ryan Musto from 1/6 Bravo Company of the Marines. He did two tours of duty in Afghanistan before he could even legally drink a beer. He left a wife and a beautiful newborn boy to go fight for what America believes in. He had brothers get seriously injured, and even lost some. I cant imagine what it was like for him to come home and adjust to civilian life after what he saw and experienced. He did it though. He came back and is now living a healthy, happy life. He still carries his burdens, but you’ll never hear him complain. This is the face of freedom. This is what a hero looks like. Nobody asked him to do what he did, he just did it because it was the right thing to do. His platoon was featured by HBO in a documentary called The Battle For Marjah for the impressive actions of these heroes. Thanks for reading and thanks for honoring men who deserve it the most. Go Vols and Merica!”

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    Amen, Curtis. And thank you, Ryan Musto, for your bravery in serving our nation. Happy Veterans Day.

    This one was sent by Lindsay Bell (@KnoxvillePains). She writes:

    “I’d like to celebrate UT alum and U.S. Army veteran (AND my brother-in-law) CPT Jason Stewart. He’s served in the army through two deployments to the middle east and is currently serving in Fort Polk Louisiana. His twitter name is @JasonStewart865, if you need it. He and his wife and fellow alum @kate_suzie are expecting their first child in December.”

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    Simply outstanding. We salute you, Captain Stewart. Thank you so very much. And congratulations to you and Kate on the impending arrival of your first child!

    This one comes from my buddy, Laura Caylor. She writes:

    “John, this is my father, Ron Sellers, US Navy, WWII. After the war, he returned home to Tennessee, married my mother and moved to Knoxville from Franklin, TN. He attended UT on the first GI Bill and graduated in 3 years. He was a signalman in the navy.”

    photo (3)Thank you, sir, for the sacrifices you made to assure our continued freedom. Happy Veterans Day, Ron Sellers.

    This one comes from Carter Hancock. He writes:

    “Continuing my family legacy. A different kind of Vol legacy.”

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    Carter, thank you, my friend, for serving our country. And as far as the family legacy he’s carrying on? He writes:

    “My dad, Donnie Hancock would definitely deserve a shoutout, he taught love of Country and love of the Vols.”

    Great stuff from great men. Thank you both!

    This one comes from one of my faves, “Chris in Disgusta” (@ibchris) on Twitter who writes:

    “I can’t go into details, but this pic pretty much sums up some good times in Iraq! This photo was taken from an undisclosed base in Iraq sometime between 2008-2010. We had to ‘borrow’ a satellite TV system to watch the games.”

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    “Borrow,” indeed. Such dedication to the Vols is to be admired! But not as much as your dedication to our country. Thank you, Chris in Disgusta.

    And, last but not least, I want to give a shout out to one of my favorite tweeps, @TheVOLColonel.

    Thank you, Colonel, for the service you gave to the United States of America. You and the other folks mentioned in this post are true heroes. As are the rest of the men and women who have given up so much for the rest of us.

    Happy Veterans Day, y’all. Words could never accurately express our gratitude.