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Nighthawks of Honor finale planned for April 1

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At the end of each season, memorabilia used to honor the fallen soldier is sold in an online auction, with the all of the proceeds supporting the UNG Boar's Head Brigade Corps of Cadets Endowment Fund.

The University of North Georgia's (UNG) Department of Athletics will complete its second annual Operation Nighthawks of Honor initiative on April 1 as it recognizes service members who were former or current UNG students.

The ceremony will be held just prior to the softball doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at the university's Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium. The event is the culmination of UNG Athletics' yearlong tribute to the nation's armed forces.

"Operation Nighthawks of Honor is a special yearlong initiative that recognized UNG's rich tradition of military excellence," said UNG Director of Athletics Lindsay Reeves. "Our tight community of Nighthawks greatly respects and appreciates all that armed service members, past and present, sacrifice for our country."

Each of the university's sports teams is assigned a UNG graduate or former student who was killed in action while serving the country; the teams commemorate their service members throughout their respective seasons. At the end of each season, memorabilia used to honor the fallen soldier is sold in an online auction, with the all of the proceeds supporting the UNG Boar's Head Brigade Corps of Cadets Endowment Fund.

To mark the last year of the Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemorative effort, of which UNG is a partner, all those recognized this year during Operation Nighthawks of Honor were killed in action during the Vietnam War.

The initiative helped earn UNG the 2017 NCAA Division II Award of Excellence, an annual accolade recognizing positive campus and community engagement events. The university was selected as one of 25 national finalists for its Operation Nighthawks of Honor initiative, which the university's athletics department announced on the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

"Winning the NCAA Division II Award of Excellence speaks volumes to our student-athletes' commitment to service and their respect for those that have honorably served our country," Reeves said. "Community engagement and giving back have long been hallmarks of our athletics program, and we wanted to take that to the next level for this important initiative. Operation Nighthawks of Honor is about recognizing those military service members from our university who gave everything, and supporting our ROTC program as it trains the next generations of Army leaders."

Those attending the softball game will be able to meet the Operation Nighthawks of Honor families.

One of only six federally designated senior military colleges in the nation, UNG is The Military College of Georgia and its nationally recognized Army ROTC program attracts students from across the state, region and nation. UNG has commissioned more than 50 general officers, 10 of whom are currently serving in a variety of command positions around the world.

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