KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Inside Neyland Stadium, way up in the northeast end zone is by far the best seat in the house.
An empty chair honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, those who are still Prisoners of War and Missing in Action.
“Always holding that seat for a lost Vol fan,” said Tennessee Director of Marketing and Fan Experience Jimmy Delaney. “Being that we are the Volunteers know we have a really rich tradition and great support from the veteran community. And so as we were looking at—we always have what we call a ‘Salute to Service Week;’ we wanted to do something to take that a little bit further.”
That’s when Delany and the University of Tennessee decided on the vacant seat, one that also serves as a memorial for Tennessee’s four lettermen who died in World War II.
And in five years, the chair has become a favorite tradition among Vols fans.
“Then we have what’s called the ‘Volunteer of the Game;’ it also gave us an opportunity for each home game to link the P.O.W./MIA and somebody currently being a veteran or serving and kind of tie it all together.”
“When a hundred-thousand people get on their feet for you, it’s a really kind of arm-tingling moment. So, it’s been incredibly well received, and we look forward to continuing it into the future.
Continuing to honor those soldiers with the words “You Will Not Be Forgotten.”
Hundreds of Tennesseans remain listed as missing in action from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. News 2 looks at the efforts to keep their memories alive in the special report: Gone But Not Forgotten.