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Vets, first responders encouraged to highlight 9/11 anniversary during College Gameday in Ames

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AMES, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs is encouraging all Iowa military veterans and first responders, that are able, to participate in the ESPN College GameDay crowd outside Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday to enhance awareness of the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is reporting national spikes in veteran suicide rates and calls for mental, emotional and behavioral health assistance. The Iowa Dept. of Veterans Affairs says now more than ever, those most affected by 9/11 and the events triggered by the attacks need to hear their sacrifices and efforts are appreciated and supported by the nation.

Veterans and first responders who can participate are still encouraged to support their team, but also asked to additionally wear or display some item identifying their relationship with the events of the historic day 20 years ago. Those who can’t attend in person, are encouraged to share photos and videos of their own observances on the department's Facebook page.

The College GameDay broadcast runs from 8 - 11 a.m., but crowds will gather well before the broadcast, some even as early as the night before. The show will be broadcast south of Jack Trice Stadium, between the Sukup End Zone Club and Reiman Gardens. The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m.

All three state universities will host Military Appreciation games in November, closer to Veterans Day. UNI will host Military Appreciation Day at the UNI-Dome on Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. against Western Illinois. Iowa will host a Military Appreciation Day Nov. 13 vs. Minnesota (time still TBD). ISU will host its Military Appreciation Day Nov. 6 vs. Texas (time still TBD).

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