MINNEAPOLIS -- An Army soldier gave Joe Paterno a small gift as he was leaving the field Saturday, and the coach brought it with him to his postgame press conference.
It was a square glass box that featured the U.S. Army logo on it.
"He wanted to thank me," Paterno said. "And I said, 'You're thanking me?' Some of these guys are over there getting shot at."
The soldier had been serving in Iraq, and a friend of his has a daughter who goes to Penn State and wanted JoePa to have the Army item.
Paterno then told a story about his service in the military before he attended Brown.
"It brought back days of my days in Korea," he said. "I didn't exactly scare the Koreans."
He said he was in the Sea of Japan in 1946 and ran a radio truck there for six months. When he came back home, his father had a message for him from the Army.
"He said, 'You're due to be in Annapolis in three days," Paterno recalled. "I said, 'I hope they don't sit around waiting.'"