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Service Members Honored During OU Football Season

Service Members Honored During OU Football Season

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Oklahoma home football games have looked a little different this season. Despite reduced capacity and other changes, the OU College of Professional and Continuing Studies was able to continue honoring those who have served our country through its Patriot of the Game sponsorship. Presented by OU PACS, Patriot of the Game honors military service members at home football games, as well as various men’s and women’s basketball games, baseball games and softball games.

During the 2020 football season, PACS was able to honor the following five individuals for their outstanding military accomplishments.

Specialist 5 Max Meek

Specialist 5 Max MeekArmy Specialist 5 Max Meek was honored as Patriot of the Game during OU’s home opener against Missouri State. Meek served in the Army from 1967 to 1969. He received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Combat Medical Badge while serving in Vietnam from December 1967 to December 1968.

Meek was wounded in the Tet Offensive in February 1968 serving with the 25th infantry division. After serving in the Army, Meek graduated from OU in 1972 with an accounting degree and has been an OU football season ticket holder for 48 years.

Meek, who lives in Norman, is retired from Oklahoma Electrical Cooperative.

Capt. Nathan Daniel Richter

Capt. Nathan Daniel RichterOklahoma Army National Guard Capt. Nathan Daniel Richter was honored during the OU-Kansas State game. Richter served with Bravo Battery, 1/160th Field Artillery Battalion, 45th separate infantry brigade. Richter, an OU alum, joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 2000 as a citizen soldier.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, he was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Richter was also deployed to New Orleans to assist American citizens with search, rescue and stability operations following Hurricane Katrina.

Richter, who now practices law in Mustang, Oklahoma, is a wellness advocate and has a strong passion for helping veterans who are fighting post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sgt. Cody Harrison ReevesSgt. Cody Harrison Reeves

Oklahoma National Guard Sgt. Cody Harrison Reeves was recognized as Patriot of the Game during the OU-Kansas game.

Reeves joined the Oklahoma National Guard in 2006. He has experienced tours to Iraq in 2008 and Kuwait in 2015 and 2019.

Reeves is still active in the Oklahoma National Guard and recently returned from deployment in Kuwait this October.

Lt. Col. Michael Fairbanks

Lt. Col. Michael FairbanlsLt. Col. Michael Fairbanks was honored at the OU-OSU game. Fairbanks, an OU alum and native of Norman, has been with the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps since 2004.

He currently serves as the deputy staff judge advocate for the 81st Readiness Division, Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Fairbanks deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as an operational law attorney to serve with the Multinational Security Transition Command-Iraq in 2004. He also deployed to Kosovo in 2009 as an operational law attorney to serve as part of the NATO Kosovo Force.

His military awards include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters and he is authorized to wear the Combat Action Badge.

Sgt. E-5 Mary Epperly

Sgt. E-5 Mary EpperlyHonored during the final home game against Baylor was Army St. E-5 Mary Epperly. Epperly served in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Southern Watch, as well as a tour in Korea.

Epperly, who has been an OU football season ticket holder since 2006, served with200 distinction and honor for six years and was nominated for the Bronze Star.

She holds several medals, including four Army commendation medals, two Army achievement medals, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with two clusters and the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal.

Patriot of the Game is just one of the ways PACS serves military families. PACS is a leader in military education with more than 55 years of experience supporting the education needs of service members worldwide. PACS brings the excellence of OU degrees and programs to students, wherever they may be. Visit our website for more information on our degrees and our offerings for service members.

To nominate a service member who you think deserves to be Patriot of the Game, visit patriot.pacs.ou.edu and tell us why.

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Tami Althoff

Tami Althoff holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is a reporter with more than 20 years’ experience working for newspapers, including The Oklahoman. She has covered everything from breaking news to local music and art. She loves sports, especially OU football and basketball games, where she often embarrasses her children by yelling too loudly.