Wednesday, October 4, 2023

MTSU presents Charlie Daniels with football helmet honoring veterans, armed forces


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Photo courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry

MTSU representatives presented Charlie Daniels with an MTSU Blue Raiders football helmet during a performance at the Grand Ole Opry Tuesday evening.

Daniels, an iconic Southern musician and leader of the Charlie Daniels Band, was performing at the Grand Ole Opry when two MTSU representatives surprised him on stage. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Huber and Dr. Hillary Miller director of the MTSU Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center presented Daniels with a special football helmet that the Blue Raider football team plans to wear on Nov. 16 to salute veterans and armed forces.

The helmet was presented to Daniels as thanks for his support of the Veterans Center, which is named after Charlie and his wife, Hazel Daniels.

“I had the privilege to serve third eight years of my life on active duty,” Huber said. “…and I considered it my privilege to be at the side of this patriot and my dear friend…on behalf of the 1,005 veterans and military family members currently enrolled, please accept this helmet, which will be worn by the Blue Raiders football team at their annual Salute to Veterans and Armed Forces game.”

“This is what America is about right here,” Daniels said, audibly emotional. “This is what America is about, right here in this building.” 

The Salute to Veterans and Armed Forces game is scheduled for November 16.

To contact News Editor Savannah Meade, email

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