April 25, 2003
The following e-mail was received from Sgt. Robert Wright in the South Carolina Air National Guard stationed in Iraq:
Dear Mr. Seketa,
Thanks again for the care package sent by you and Clemson University. We have really enjoyed the programs, and the T-shirts were a huge hit. It’s nice to see so many Clemson Tiger Baseball T-shirts being sported around Camp Andy! The gamerooster fans just love it! The support from Clemson University proved to be a timely morale booster! We all knew about USC sending a flag here signed by their coach and football team, but we were certainly surprised at the early arrival of the flag signed by Coach Bowden and the Tiger Football team! Since the Tiger Flag was the first to arrive in country, Clemson was able to claim another victory for the state of South Carolina!
As members of the South Carolina Air National Guard, we are proud of many “firsts”. We were the first Air National Guard Unit to fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon. We were the first F-16 fighter unit to deploy in Operation Desert Storm, and we are the first guard unit to be assigned with the High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM). These are a few extraordinary achievements!
As Clemson fans we can now claim a first and a very extraordinary achievement! On April 12, 2003, the Clemson Flag signed by Coach Bowden and the Tiger Football team was flown in a combat mission over the skies of Baghdad! The mission was flown in a Royal Australian Air Force F-18 Fighter Jet. The mission consisted of two F-18 Fighter Jets flying close air support and reconnaissance for the Coalition Forces! Not only is this a first for Clemson University and the state of South Carolina, but this could be the first time any banner from a major university was flown on a combat mission over hostile enemy airspace!
I have attached a photo of a few of our SCANG members who are proud supporters of the Clemson Tigers! We had the picture taken in front of one of our very own F-16CJ’s. We hope you will enjoy this picture as much as we have enjoyed the care package that you sent! Thanks again for the support from you, Clemson University and the citizens of the United States of America!
See Ya Soon and Go Tigers!!!
South Carolina Air National Guard “Swamp Foxes”
September 23, 2020
September 22, 2020