FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Military members and the community are invited to attend a free day of fun at Purdue University Fort Wayne (PFW).

“It’s vital in this day and age that we pay tribute to those who serve and give us the freedoms that we have today,” said Jason Bonar, PFW event organizer, and veteran. “We can go to school, we can do all these nice things that we have in our country, and it’s because of the men and woman who serve.”

The Military Appreciation Day is scheduled to begin on Thursday on the Science Mall lawn.

The ceremony will start at 11 a.m. with the Indiana National Guard showing the colors. Then members of the 122nd Fighter Wing will be singing the national anthem and the 434th Flying Training Squadron from Grissom Airforce base will perform a flyover. Following the flyover, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry is scheduled to give a speech.

After the ceremony, there will be live music, military vehicles, giveaways, and a virtual reality simulation so the public can learn what military men and women see while in combat There will also be services and organizations offering resources to veterans. 

Mission BBQ, Skyline Chili, and Starbucks will provide free meals to those who attend.

“Go big or stay home,” Bonar said. “What I want you to take from this is that I am a student and I’ll be gone at some point and what I want to do is establish a really nice event that military students here that no matter who the director is, who the students are, they will have a nice event that recognizes military and serves employees.”