Special activities are planned prior to Thursday's football game between Woodward and Lawton Eisenhower at Boomer Stadium.

It is the third annual Military Appreciation Night in Woodward. Part of the Warriors for Freedom series, the night recognizes and honors the men and women who have served in the military and this year first responders as well.

Pre-game ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. and three veterans will be recognized at that time. Also, all veterans, active service members and first responders will receive free admission.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Veterans honored in the ceremonies are Bill Sunderland, Adam Martin and Don Jenkins.

Here is a little about all three:

Bill Sunderland is a veteran of the United States Navy. He served from 1952 until 1955 and saw action in the Korean war. At the time of his discharge, he was ranked as a Petty Officer Third Class.

Sunderland is a 1950 graduate of Woodward High School and is celebrating his 70th class reunion this year. He has spent 28 years as a training coordinator with the Council of Law Enforcement Education and is a member of the Silver Haired Legislature which helps educate senior Oklahomans about the legislative process and advocates for the needs of older Oklahomans at the State Capitol. Sunderland is the father of four children: WHS principal Ron Sunderland, Highland Park paraprofessional Shannon Wadley, Lisa Breshears and Billy Sunderland. He also has 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Adam Martin is a veteran of the United States Army, serving from 2000 until 2004 as a Sergeant in the 82nd Division. Martin was stationed at Ft. Bragg, N. C. with the Parachute Infantry Regiment. He served two combat tours in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom and in Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Martin also served as a machine gunner in Afghanistan and a Line Squad Team Leader in Iraq.

Since being discharged from the military, Martin has continued to serve the community. He has worked at the Woodward County Sheriff's Department and is currently employed as a Sergeant and the K9 handler at the Woodward Police Department. Martin is the father of four children and two bonus children. He shares his home in Woodward with his wife Megan and the children.

Don Jenkins is a veteran of the United States Army. During his six years of service, Jenkins served as an armor tank platoon commander, served on the DMZ in Korea, and instructed a company of engineers from Vietnam on the use of a specialized engineer tank for demolition, excavation and lifting cargo and freight.

Upon discharge from the Army, Jenkins accepted a position with the Oklahoma Economic Development Association and eventually became the City Manager of Beaver where he served for 30 years. He has four daughters, including WPS Teacher of the Year Lori Zimmerman, and 10 grandchildren. He and his wife, Sherry, are retired and enjoy watching their grandchildren in all of their activities.

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