BOZEMAN — The roar of two Navy F-5N Tiger jets will mingle with the final notes of the national anthem in Bobcat Stadium this Saturday, thrilling fans assembled for the 2022 Montana State University homecoming football game against Idaho State and marking a personal homecoming of sorts for one Bozeman family.
The anthem will be sung by Emily Fraser, a first-year student who often visited relatives in Bozeman while she grew up a military kid, living in three countries and five U.S. states. And one of the jets performing Saturday’s flyover will be piloted by her dad, a Bozeman native and longtime Bobcat fan, Capt. Billy “Kid” Fraser, wing commander of the Tactical Support Wing based in Fort Worth, Texas.
"Having the opportunity to share the flyover is a cool thing no matter where you are, but to fly over a stadium that you went to all of your younger life watching Bobcat games and where your daughter is singing the national anthem for her school– I don't think that it gets any better than that,” Billy Fraser said.
His visit this weekend will mark the first time that he has been able to make it back to Bozeman since his family moved here in June — ahead of his retirement in early 2023. He said this MSU homecoming game is a true homecoming for him, his daughter and the whole family.
"I think that just coming back to Bozeman, moving back home, being able to do the flyover, completes the circle of really great career,” he said. “I’m really thankful for everyone who has been a part of making this happen.”
The flyover will happen just before the 2 p.m. kickoff for the Oct. 8 game. Joining Capt. Fraser on the flyover will be Fighter Squadron 13 based in Fallon, Nevada, including Cmdr. Austin Coovert from Walla Walla, Washington, Petty Officer 1st Class Nakato Tantillo from Uganda, and Chief Ian Wilson from Appleton, Wisconsin.
Emily Fraser started at MSU this fall and plans to pursue a degree in political science in the College of Letters and Science. Singing and performing has been a passion of hers for as long as she can remember, and she said getting the opportunity to sing at the homecoming game is surreal.
"I am very excited to sing in front of my family,” she said. Her mother, Liz, and two sisters, May, 15, and Molly, 13, will be in the audience, alongside her grandparents and extended family and friends.
“I want to make my dad proud – hopefully make my country, school and Bozeman community proud. It’s going to be a special moment,” she said. “This homecoming game is a really special opportunity because my dad grew up in Bozeman and we’re all finally here now.
“It's just an incredible moment to share. Bozeman is home.”