Student Spearheads Recognition of POW/MIA Soldiers in Ohio Stadium

Two years ago Brianne Szymanski, a fourth-year history major from Toledo, had the idea to designate a POW-MIA chair in the Ohio Stadium to honor the sacrifices of those who have served in the military and are still unaccounted for.

“Both of my parents work for the American Legion. Through many conversations with them, I started to think of ways we could honor our veterans who never came home,” pow-mia-3Szymanski explained.

Szymanski contacted Ohio State President Michael Drake and Athletic Director Gene Smith about her idea and was directed to Mike Carrell, director of the Office of Military and Veterans Services. The process was long, but Szymanski received good news while she was abroad in Europe last May: Ohio State agreed to install a special chair for POWs and MIAs, which will always remain empty in their memory. The chair would be installed in late August — in front where the ROTC sits during football games, in the heart of the student section, and in time for the start of football season.

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