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Kenmare football team planning military appreciation

A high school football game that is still a month away is stacking up to be a very memorable event in Kenmare.

7/26/16 (Tue)

Military appreciation at football game... Members of all five branches of the United States Armed Forces will be recognized during a Military Appreciation Day set for Aug. 26 during a high school football game in Kenmare. A number of events are being planned for veterans and their families.

By Marvin Baker

A high school football game that is still a month away is stacking up to be a very memorable event in Kenmare.

The game is the second of the 2016 season and the first home game for the Kenmare Honkers as they will entertain the Tioga Pirates starting at 7 p.m.

However, this game, like no other in recent memory, will honor veterans from all five branches of service, coming together on the Kenmare football field to be recognized for their service.

This game is for them, according to Honker head football coach Matt Hove, whether they be World War II veterans, Global War on Terror veterans or peace time military, Hove wants to honor everyone.

“Any veteran can come to the game, but if they want to be honored, rsvp myself by Aug. 20,” Hove said. “I think for the vets, I’ll have chairs at the back of the end zone and they’ll have their own little section to watch the game.”

He said it’s important to note that if veterans want their names announced during the ceremony, they need to let him know. Hove’s email address is (

Hove not only wants to get the word out about Military Appreciation Day, but he would like to have a solid list of participants by Aug. 20 so a commemorative program may be printed to be presented at the game.

He also intends to contact American Legion posts in the area, as well as the Legion post in Tioga so members of that organization may attend and be honored as well.

“I want to send out invites, but it might just be easier for them to get hold of me,” Hove said. “I don’t want to have 50 people on a list and only 10 show up.”

He encourages veterans to wear their uniforms for the event but added there isn’t a dress code.

The plan is to have the Minot Air Force Base commander introducing the veterans, however, public affairs at Minot AFB was unable to immediately confirm it.

A representative of Minot AFB public affairs said someone in a command capacity in the Air Force will attend and do introductions.

Hove is spearheading the event along with Air Force and National Guard personnel and has been working on it since February.

The Minot Air Force Base and the North Dakota National Guard will both be involved in different ways in the Military Appreciation event.

As an example, the National Guard will have a laser tag operation set up for the kids in the school gymnasium before the game.

Members of the Guard will also take part in a tailgating event before the game and will have a tent and a couple grills set up.

The National Guard is also supplying camouflage uniforms for the football game that the players will wear during the game.

In addition, the helmets will be camouflaged and will represent all five branches of the military.

 The Air Force will supply the Color Guard and Hove is working on getting Security Forces to have a couple of demonstrations.

“The Air Force Base is trying to increase its community commitment,” Hove said. “And by all means, if they want to, they can.”

Locally, Roger Matthews of Okie’s Ribs will be part of the tailgating along with the National Guard.

Hove said the food will be available for a cost that is being used as a fund raiser for the football team.

The tailgating event will be going on behind the school prior to game time.

Hove’s father Mike will play the National Anthem on his guitar before the game starts, all veterans will be honored at halftime and a fireworks display courtesy of Gartner’s Jack & Jill will close out the night after the game.

Of course, Hove would like to see the Honkers beat the Pirates that would make the fireworks extra special, but the big thing is to honor the vets who attend the Friday night game.

The game is also being publicized in the Minot AFB newspaper the Northern Sentry, so those on base will also be aware of the event.

“I’m expecting a decent showing of active duty military from the base,” Hove said. “I want to get hold of the Tioga folks too. We should have a pretty good crowd.” ... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!