405 Purple Heart recipients gather for Lone Survivor Game - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

405 Purple Heart recipients gather for Lone Survivor Game

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Hundreds of Purple Heart recipients from across the country are gathering in Lubbock for the Lone Survivor Game where Texas Tech will take on Kansas State on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 11 a.m.

The event honoring these brave men and women is expecting 405 Purple Heart recipients - said to be the largest gathering of Purple Heart recipients on American soil.

A banquet was held in their honor at the Lubbock Civic Center on Friday, Nov. 8, at 6:30 p.m.

It was a room full of heroes, each one with a similar experience, but their own story.

"I was injured back in February 2007 by a roadside bomb that they estimated about 700 pounds," said Army veteran Shilo Harris.

"I was wounded in 2007 in Afghanistan.  An RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) hit our vehicle while I was in the turret and went through a windshield and blew up inside our vehicle," said another Purple Heart recipient.

"I grabbed it and pulled it up underneath my stomach and my chest and I knew that I was going to die but I could at least save the other guys," said Medal of Honor recipient Doc Ballard.

For these warriors, this event is much more than a football game against two conference rivals, it marks history.

"They bled for our country to keep us all free," said Vietnam veteran John Murdock.

Several pieces of military equipment will be on display for fans and veterans to see before kickoff on Saturday, including the Texas Fallen Heroes Memorial Wall, which honors those who were killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan. The memorial will be located outside the Texas Tech Athletic Training Center.

Fans are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to the game and drop it off at the Texas Tech football truck that will be located at Gate 1 of the stadium. The toys will be collected by area Marines and donated to Toys for Tots.

It's also Senior Day and Texas Tech says tickets are still available heading into Friday night.

The game will be broadcast on ABC. That's channel 8 on Suddenlink and channel 28 on AT&T U-Verse, Dish Network, and DirecTV.

You can learn more about the history and the story behind the Lone Survivor Game here:http://www.texastech.com/lonesurvivor/.

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