COLUMBUS (WCMH)–There’s a new addition at Ohio Stadium just in time for the Buckeyes’ first game on Saturday.
A special POW-MIA chair was unveiled and dedicated Thursday.
It was placed in the Horseshoe in honor of the sacrifices of those who have served in the military but have not yet returned home.
Mike Carrell, director of the Office of Military and Veterans’ Services at The Ohio State University, said 2,300 OSU students are connected to the military in some way.
He says this chair means a lot not only the OSU community, but to everyone.
“It’s a chair that nobody will ever sit in until the last POW comes home,” said Carrell.
Brianne Szymanski is the OSU student who came up with the entire idea.
“It was midnight and I just decided to scratch up an email to Gene Smith and President Drake,” said Szymanski.
Two years later, her idea became a reality
“I started thinking, how could we as a university community better honor those who served but never, never made it home?” she said.
“It’s pretty amazing. It’s really…it’s really humbling. You know, to be in a stadium with 105,000 seats or whatever it is and to to know that all those seats will be filled, but there’s always going to be one here right in front of the ROTC in the heart of the student section that will remain empty.”
Carrell said the chair will be “front and center,” as it is right where the band comes in to the stadium.
“From a veteran perspective, I can guarantee you it has an impact on us. Every time we see one of those we know what it means and it’s important to us. But I think for everyone else it will start a conversation,” explained Carrell.