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Military Honorees for Sept. 30
Servicemen honored at Sept. 30 game

SSG Gennadiy Vavrenyuk and MAJ (R) Randy Oates were selected as military honorees for Northwestern State University’s Sept. 30 football, doing the honors of the game’s coin toss and serving as honorary captains. Vavrenyuk is assigned to the 187th Medical Battalion, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.  He is enrolled in the Army Medical Department Enlisted Commissioning Program through NSU Fort Polk.  He is currently in clinicals with NSU’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health, completing his bachelor of science in nursing with an LPN to BSN concentration.  Vavrenyuk has served 17 years in the Army with combat service of 15 months in Iraq and 9 months in Kuwait.  Cheering on the Demons with him were his wife Janal, son Miles, and sister-in-law Anita Prazak. Oates is a U.S. Army retiree and a 1984 NSU alumnus.  He commissioned through NSU’s ROTC program and performed on the Black Knights Drill Team.  During his 23-year career, Oates commanded M Company, 23rd Support Group, Fort Lee, where he trained over 6,000 new recruits on their initial entry skills.  He also served as Installation Commander, Forward Operating Base Shield, Baghdad, Iraq.  There his forces provided security, logistics and recreational support to over 2,000 soldiers and Department of Defense civilians.  Oates recently retired from the Army and is happy to once again call Natchitoches his home. From left are CPT John Welch, assistant professor of Military Science; LTC(R) Arthur Smalley, Chief of Staff, Northwestern Demon Regiment; Vavrenyuk and Oates.