Bixby's Millitary Appreciation Night Growing
9.14.16 by Ron Holt
Out of respect and admiration, Bixby Public Schools continues expanding its annual Military Appreciation Night activities during a Bixby Spartan football game.

The Military Appreciation Night will be held during Bixby's home opener on Friday, Sept. 16, when the Spartans host Putnam City. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Lee Snider Stadium.

"Our Military Appreciation Night has grown into what I believe is, hands down, the best Military Appreciation Night in the state," said Whitney Allen, a Spartan Quarterback Club member, who coordinates the evening's activities. "It is a wonderful night of honoring our Nation's veterans."

A dinner will be provided before the game for the 24 veterans who will be recognized on the field prior to kickoff. The veterans' service range from World War II to active duty personnel. A flyover will also be held prior to the start of the game.

"This year we have a very special honoree named Jared Shoemaker, who will be honored at the beginning of halftime," Mrs. Allen said. "Jared was a Marine and a Tulsa Police Department officer who was killed in Iraq 10 years ago, almost to the day of our event. Cpl. Shoemaker's parents will be on hand to help us honor their son."

Bixby's Quarterback Club will donate $2,500 to the Folds of Honor in memory of Cpl. Shoemaker, who was a teammate of Bixby's head football coach Loren Montgomery at Northeastern State University. Jim Glover will match the club's donation.

"On behalf of our nearly 13,000 scholarship recipients across this great Country, we are humbled to be recognized alongside Cpl. Shoemaker and Mr. Glover," said Ben Leslie, Folds of Honor senior vice president. "It's a very, very special evening indeed."
This year, Bixby High students are becoming more involved in contributing to the success of the Military Appreciation Night through a special gift for Cpl. Shoemaker's parents.

"During all of our Bixby High School English classes, grades ninth through 12th, the students were shown a recent Tulsa World story about Cpl. Shoemaker," Mrs. Allen said. "Approximately 1,200 students at Bixby High have written a thank you letter to Mr. and Mrs. Shoemaker.

"This is a wonderful event that our student body and community look forward to each year," she added.