In honor of Corps Homecoming and Military Appreciation Day, five Virginia Tech alumni serving as aircrew with a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon squadron were selected as the Hokie Heroes for Saturday’s football game against Boston College.
The Hokie Hero program honors alumni who are deployed. Recipients are highlighted by Jon Laaser and Mike Burnop during their radio broadcast of Hokie football games, on the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets website, and in the Corps Review magazine.
The honorees were the following:
- Lt. Patrick Bates, a P-8 aircraft commander, is deployed between Bahrain and Japan as a member of Maritime Patrol Squadron Five. A Corps of Cadets alumnus, he earned a degree in chemistry in 2011 and was the Highty-Tighties’ drum major his senior year.
- Lt. JG Steve Mehr, a P-8 pilot, also a dual-location deployment in Japan and the Middle East. He earned a degree in business with a concentration in finance in 2010. He spent four years as a percussionist in the Marching Virginians and was drum captain his senior year.
- Lt. Cmdr. Mike Steffens, a naval flight officer, is with the Flying Tigers of Patrol Squadron 8 in Okinawa, Japan. He graduated from the Corps of Cadets in 2003 with a degree in education with a concentration in secondary education technology. He was the D Company commander his senior year.
- Lt. JG John Waters, a patrol plane pilot with the Flying Tigers, graduated from the Corps of Cadets in 2012 with a degree in industrial and systems engineering. He was the G Company executive officer his senior year.
- Lt. JG Kevin Willett, a naval flight officer with the Flying Tigers, graduated from the Corps of Cadets in 2013 with a degree in geography. He was the E Company executive officer his senior year.