Several Georgia State athletics staff members working Saturday’s Patriots Day 9-11 Game have served their country and are Armed Forces veterans. But one on the sidelines Saturday is fresh off a military tour and immersed into GSU football.

Football Operations Graduate Assistant Josh Moore joined Coach Bill Curry’s inaugural staff last month in a highly unusual way.

Air Force Staff Sergeant Moore was finishing up his 10th year on active duty and was facing a decision of re-enlisting again and continuing his military career or chasing his dream of working in college athletics and football.

Simply using Google on his computer, Moore found the 10 newest college football programs and found Georgia State. He contacted those schools and got a nibble from Assistant Head Coach George Pugh, who said he would give him a 10-minute interview about if he came to Atlanta. The eight-hour drive from Florida was worth the chance, so Moore showed up for his face-to-face chat with Coach Pugh.

He was offered the GA spot and began training camp in August with the GSU football program, chasing a dream and a passion.

Moore spent the past 10 years on active duty in the Air Force, including two tours in the Middle East as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His job assignment was as a weather forecaster that briefed pilots for missions.

He was most recently assigned to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where he forecasted weather for NASA for 1-1/2 years, dealing with the tightest weather restrictions in meteorology. Moore was chosen as the “Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year” award two years in a row.

With football in his blood, after work every day, he would go volunteer his time and help coach high school football at Cocoa Beach High to learn more about coaching.

Moore is a native of Midlothian, Texas, just south of Dallas and Forth Worth, where he chose the Air Force after graduation from high school. Surprisingly, he is the second member of the program from Midlothian, where Panthers’ junior defensive end Kalan Jenkins also attended high school.

We salute Staff Sergeant Moore for his service and welcome him to GSU to help find that smooth weather pattern for a winning inaugural season.

Georgia State’s athletic staff also has a complement of former military service men and women in its ranks. Executive senior associate A.D. James Greenwell served in the Army from 1986-90 as an infantry rifleman and served at Fort Benning, Ga. Softball coach Bob Heck is the only GSU athletic department staffer to have served during World War II, as he was a Navy Petty Officer from 1943-46 at Naval Air Stations in South Carolina. Assistant A.D. for Communications Charlie Taylor was drafted during the Viet Nam era and served three years as a Navy Petty Officer at the world’s largest naval base, Norfolk Naval Station. Cross Country Coach Chris England served in the Army from 2001-04, continuing his distance running career in meets around the globe, while also serving at Fort Lee, Va. Current Strength and Conditioning Graduate Assistant Vivi Brown is in her final year of the ROTC program here at GSU and will be the Panthers’ battalion commander for the entire ROTC group next semester and then will serve on active duty upon graduation.

Saturday’s Patriots Day 9-11 Game at the Georgia Dome vs. Lambuth offers special discounts to veterans and 1st responders. A patriotic halftime show will also be performed.