Thank You for Supporting the 2023 Military Bowl

Wow! What an amazing showing by the teams, their fans and all of our supporters at the 2023 Military Bowl presented by! Mother Nature turned on the faucets but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium as we came together to honor and support our nation’s military.

Quarterback Kyron Drones, the Bowl’s Most Valuable Player, completed 13 of 21 passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 20 times for 176 yards and one touchdown as Virginia Tech (7-6) beat No. 23 Tulane, 41-20. Proceeds from the Bowl benefit Patriot Point, the Military Bowl Foundation’s 294-acre retreat for wounded, ill and injured service members, their families and caregivers.

It was a terrific finish to the 2023 season as well as a great way to finish Bowl Week for the Hokies. Both teams spent the week in Washington, experiencing the sights of the nation’s capital while also preparing for the game.

Bowl Week included U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) Greg Gadson speaking to both teams at their Welcome Receptions.  Col. Gadson is a former West Point linebacker and 25-year career officer; his life is a portrait of courage in the face of great adversity. While deployed to Iraq in 2007, as the commander of a field artillery battalion, a roadside bomb destroyed his vehicle. Colonel Gadson lost both of his legs and injured his right arm. But these injuries did not damage his spirit and he returned to active duty.  He recently published a book Finding Waypoints, A Warrior’s Journey Toward Peace and Purpose, which each player was given as part of their player gift from the Bowl.

College football has a rich history dating back to 1869 and from there the sport has continued to grow in popularity. One of the great traditions in college football is the marching band and both the Virginia Tech Marching Virginians and Tulane University Marching Band were stellar and added to the pageantry of the day. The bands arrived at City Dock early in the morning to prepare for the Parade and played their hearts out throughout the day. 

Both teams had honorary captains join for the ceremonial pregame coin toss. Virginia Tech’s honorary captain was U.S. Army Brigadier General Jasper Jeffers III, a Virginia Tech alumnus and one of the highest-ranking military officials in the Washington area. Tulane’s honorary captain was Don Peters, a trustee and summa cum laude graduate who is a U.S. Navy veteran and was one of the last officers to be personally interviewed and selected by Admiral Hyman G. Rickover to work on the headquarters staff of the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program.

Many players on the Virginia Tech and Tulane teams have connections and family members who are serving or have served in the military. The Military Bowl Foundation appreciates their service and sacrifice and knows that families serve, too. 

Since 2016, the Military Bowl Foundation has owned and operated Patriot Point, located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, creating a retreat center for those who selflessly serve our country. Patriot Point focuses on small groups, with an average group size of 10. Some guests have the visible wounds of their service, while others have the invisible wounds of war, which can lead to trauma-related mental health challenges. Family members may also experience trauma responses when loved ones endure physical and/or mental health challenges. Our wounded, ill and injured service members need a safe and tranquil place to help in their road to recovery. Patriot Point is a place and opportunity for recovering service members to find peace and time to reconnect with family while on their healing journey. 

“Patriot Point is an excellent place for veterans to be able to come together, away from their daily grind, and to relax in an environment that promotes healing and camaraderie.” – U.S. Marine Corps CPL (Ret.) Neil F.

Patriot Point is proud to have hosted more than 2,600 service members, veterans and their families and looks forward to welcoming many more. In this season of giving, please consider joining the Military Bowl Foundation and supporting its mission by making a gift to Patriot Point to support our American heroes and their families.

Thanks for participating in the 2023 Military Bowl presented by!  

The Military Bowl Foundation wishes you and your family a happy and healthy New Year.