Many Southern Miss fans were disappointed to learn this year's bowl game would be played in Hawaii. Due to the hefty price tag, many will not be able to attend.
But the USM Athletic Department has come up with a program to send our troops stationed overseas to the game.
Associate Athletic Director Brent Jones said, "There are so many people out there in harm's way or about to be in harm's way, and we just want to thank them."
That is why the department decided to emulate a program the University of North Carolina officials came up with called Tickets for Troops.
"There are a lot of military bases, as well as troops that are stationed in Hawaii during the holidays, and what we wanted to be able to do, through the generosity of fans, we wanted to be able to offer them a chance to go to the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl," Jones said.
Anyone can purchase a ticket for a discounted rate of $20 and that ticket, along with a Southern Miss T-shirt, will be given to a service member.
"As an athletic department, we wanted to show our love of the military. So what we decided to do, for each fan who purchases a ticket that is traveling to the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, the athletic department will be donating one ticket as well," Jones said.
"Our hope is to have enough tickets to meet the requests to fill the Honolulu stadium."
So far Jones says the response has been great.
"We are hoping to get 1,000. I know the phones have been ringing pretty strong at our ticket office."
And for those generous donors, they'll be getting more than just the satisfaction of doing something good this holiday season.
"We will give them a roughly 30 minute DVD of the USA Championship game where our Golden Eagles defeated the 6th ranked Houston Cougars," Jones said.
So it's really a win win situation. The stands will be packed with black and gold fans and military members will hopefully enjoy Christmas Eve with a great game of football.
"For that three or four hours of the day hopefully they won't have to think about the military."
You can purchase a ticket by calling 1-800-844-8425 or by clicking here. The deadline is December 21st.
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