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.
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.