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Saturday November 17, 2012Gators' close ties to military to be recognized as part of 'Saluting Those Who Serve'


GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- As part of the pre-game program prior to today's game, the Gators are holding a special ceremony to honor U.S. military veterans.

"Saluting Those Who Serve" hits close to Florida's locker room. Several players have family members with ties to the U.S. military and two walk-ons, John Reichardt and A.J. Mobley, are veterans.

Thanks to UF's sports-information staff, here is a list of the Gators' military ties:

Jeremy Brown – Father, Terrell, served in the Navy; grandfather, Jimmy Brown, was in the Army and served in the Vietnam War.

Dominique Easley – Brother, David, served in the Army; father, David, also served in the Army.

Matt Elam – Father, Donald Elam, served in Vietnam.

Jabari Gorman – Grandfather, David, served in the Air Force; brother, David, is active in the Navy and based in Texas.

Lerentee McCray – Uncle, Tracy Glover, is active in the Army and based in Texas; sister, Precious Cannon, is active in the Army and based in Virginia.

A.J. Mobley – Served four years in the U.S. Marine Corp, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, before joining the Florida football team in 2012.

Antonio Morrison – Great grandfather, John Edwards, served in the Army during WWI; grandfather John Morrison, Sr., served in the Army during WWII and grandfather Earnest Owens, Jr., served in the Army in Korea; uncles, Ben Edwards, Charles Upchurch and John Morrison, Jr., served in the Army; uncle, Michael Morrison, served in the Air Force in Vietnam; aunt, Crystal Bonnor, served in the Army in Desert Storm and Iraq; cousin, Ben Edwards, Jr., served in the Army in Desert Storm; cousin, Beruit Edward Morrison, served in the marines during Desert Storm; cousin, Marcus Morrison, served in the Army in Afghanistan.

Xavier Nixon – Mother, Fotini, is currently stationed in Louisiana and has served in Iraq; father, Kenneth, served in Kuwait and Afghanistan for the Army.

Loucheiz Purifoy – Sister, Kamisha Shannon, served in the Army and his brother-in-law, Terrell Shannon, is currently active in the Army.

John Reichardt – Served in the Army for seven years, with deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, before joining the Florida football team in 2012.

Jesse Schmitt – Father, Bruce Schmitt, served in the Marines. Both his maternal and paternal grandfathers served in the military. Jesse is on track to be commissioned second lieutenant in the Marines upon graduation.

Ian Silberman – Both parents, Warren and Stephanie, served in the Navy.

Frankie Velez – Father, Dr. Jose Velez, was an Army doctor stationed in Fort Benning, Ga.

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