Friday, November 11, 2016

Bob Stoops Surprises Pair of Oklahoma Veterans

A couple of local veterans received a special surprise Wednesday evening.

Justin Cook (U.S. Navy, 2000-11) and David Lodes (National Guard, 1984-2009) were just going about their normal day -- Cook attending class and Lodes getting ready for dinner -- when Boomer and Sooner showed up holding a phone. On the other end of the FaceTime was OU head football coach Bob Stoops.

Each received a personal thank-message from Coach Stoops for their service to our country and were invited to Saturday's game vs. Baylor with four tickets for them and their families and the opportunity to hold the flag on the field during the national anthem.

It's all part of Oklahoma's Salute to Heroes military appreciation game. A number of other military-themed events and recognitions are planned for the game, including a WWII warbird flyover in conjunction with the national anthem.

Wednesday's surprise ticket delivery was made possible by Patriot Ford, a proud partner of OU Athletics. Following is more information on the honorees:

Justin Cook

Cook served in the Navy from 2000 until 2011, including a stint in Iraq. He earned his bachelor's degree in Aviation Management from OU in 2014 and is currently working on a master's in Human Relations. Following his 11 years of service to our country, he wanted to continue his fellow members and currently serves as the President of the Student Veteran's Association and chapter captain of Team Red, White and Blue which helps veterans from the Oklahoma City metro area.

David Lodes

Lodes served in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1984-2009. He flew Chinook helicopters during Operation Iraqi Freedom I and III, flying troops and supplies to Iraq. He flew with the special operations 160th Airborne Division, "The Nightstalkers." His military honors include a Bronze Star and Air Medal. He currently works for the OU Aviation Department as Chief Instructor Pilot.

///SoonerSports PR

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