FANS

The Columbus Dispatch - - Metro&state - Ccan­disky@dispatch.com @ccan­disky

80 some­thing, but it was 135 (de­grees) when I was in Iraq so this is not hot.”

Monk, 54, of Pine­hurst, North Carolina, re­tired a few years ago af­ter 28 years in the ser­vice but, orig­i­nally from the Can­ton area, he’s a life­long Buck­eyes fan.

“I am root­ing for a good game. I pretty much know Ohio State is go­ing to win. I’ve been a fan my whole life. I love Ohio State. I ac­tu­ally have an Ohio State room in my house,” he said, adding, “I’m not a fan, I’m a fa­natic.”

Satur­day’s game, which the Buck­eyes won by a score of 38-7, was the first-ever be­tween Ohio State and the U.S. Mil­i­tary Academy at West Point. Like Monk, many ac­tive mil­i­tary and vet­er­ans showed their love for both teams. Many wore mil­i­tary hats that de­picted their ser­vice. Army foot­ball jerseys were also pop­u­lar.

And pa­tri­otic Buck­eyes fans showed their ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the sac­ri­fice the vet­er­ans and ac­tive-duty ser­vice­men and ser­vice­women have made for their coun­try, wildly chant­ing “USA! USA! USA!” as Army’s Golden Knights para­chute team dropped into the cen­ter of the ‘Shoe be­fore the start of the game. Two Army heli­copters flew over the sta­dium mo­ments later. Fans cheered again when the Black Knights took the field, not the kind of wel­come most op­po­nents re­ceive.

“Ev­ery­body has been great,” said Lisa Un­der­wood, a nine-year Army vet­eran at­tend­ing her first Ohio State game in an Army jersey.

“I’ve had some Buck­eye guys say, ‘Shhh. Don’t tell any­one, but go Army’,” said Un­der­wood, 45, of Tipp Re­tired Sgt. Maj. Scott Monk wore an Ohio State jersey over his Army uni­form.

City, about an hour west of Colum­bus.

Her hus­band of seven years, Chad Un­der­wood, wore a Buck­eye jersey. “We make it work,” he quipped.

Dr. Ron Shapiro, a re­tired Army cap­tain from Toledo, was thrilled to see the two teams meet.

“It’s show­ing that the teams have more par­ity; they’re more equal,” Shapiro said. “It’s real cool that they’re play­ing here. You would kind of like to see them win be­cause they rep­re­sent our armed forces, but I’m a diehard Buck­eyes fan. But if any­one had to beat Ohio State, I’d like it to be Army.”

Lau­ren Gar­rett, a sopho­more dance ma­jor at Ohio State, wore a West Point shirt to the game, at­tract­ing a lot of smiles from Army fans.

“I’m wear­ing my shirt in honor of my dad, who grad­u­ated from West Point in 1994,” she said of her late fa­ther.

Her brother, Jay Gar­rett, pulled his Ohio State jersey up to show an Army shirt un­derneath.

“I’m split,” he said.

[EMMA HOW­ELLS/DISPATCH PHO­TOS]

Mem­bers of the Ohio Army and Ohio Air na­tional guards carry the U.S. flag onto the field be­fore the Ohio State-Army foot­ball game Satur­day at Ohio Sta­dium.

Monk, left, talks with his brother-in-law Randy Bing be­fore the game. Monk, who grew up in the Can­ton area, drove to Colum­bus from his home in North Carolina. He said he was root­ing for both teams.

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