University of Minnesota officials named Sgt. Van Tulmau an honorary Golden Gophers co-captain Nov. 12 in honor of Veteran's Day.
Nearly 50,000 Minnesota and Wisconsin football fans watched Tulmau walk onto the field at TCF Bank Stadium and take part in the coin toss.
“I have never been that nervous,” said the 30-year-old Koror, Palau, native. “It was worse than a firefight.”
Tulmau, an infantryman who enlisted in 2002, served as co-captain with Curran Delaney, a Marine veteran who deployed to Iraq as a sniper.
“It was motivating,” said Tulmau, a recruiter out of the Roseville, Minn., office. “That was the last place I thought I’d run into someone from my old unit.”
Tulmau and Delaney were members of 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, the most highly decorated infantry battalion in the history of the Corps. Delaney, a Victoria, Minn., native, joined the Gophers after being discharged from the Corps in 2010.
“I’m honored to serve with today’s men and women who chose to answer their nation’s call,” said Tulmau, who has deployed to Iraq three times. “This was a one-in-a-lifetime experience and hopefully it’ll motivate the next generation to earn the title 'Marine.'”
For additional imagery from the event, visit www.facebook.com/rstwincities