Results tagged ‘ Military Appreciation ’


I’ve been presented with a challenge…and my response is the same as to the question “what gift do you get someone that already has everything?”…I have no idea!  Some people will say, “oh, it doesn’t matter…it’s the thought that counts.”  I can take that response two ways:

1) the gift is irrelevant, it’s the fact that you thought to give them ‘something ‘ that matters

2) it’s the time you spend and the thought that you put in to determining something meaningful

My vote goes to #2.  Time is a precious gift…one that can’t be bought nor can it be replaced.

So where am I going with this?  Ever since I found out that I was going to be a part of this AFE Tour, one thought has dominated my mind…how am I possibly going to convey the depth of my admiration and appreciation to the men and women I meet during this tour?  Again, I have no idea!  Saying thank you and passing out t-shirts seems not nearly enough.

And then an interesting thing happened today.  Everyone we met was amazingly gracious and thanking US!  They are so grateful that we have taken the time to go on this tour to spend time with them.  Now how about that!  Here I am trying to figure out how to show my appreciation in a meaningful way, and I am humbly reminded that sometimes it really is the thought that counts…and the time that goes into it.

To continue following the Miami Marlins’ fifth visit overseas to our troops please visit: or follow us at @MarlinsAyudan

Civilian Clothing

Did you wake up this morning and put on your Marlins t-shirt? Well so did Officer Cohen of the 380th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron.

Did you think twice when you slipped on your “civilian clothing” this morning? Me neither. In fact, I wear whatever I want basically every day.  Though I’ve heard this kind of phrase many times in my life, today I realized that I am able to wear whatever I want every day thanks to those who sacrifice for me every day – like Officer Cohen and his squadron.

When Officer Cohen’s squadron was approved to wear civilian clothing during off hours, the Marlins took the opportunity to send some t-shirts for their wardrobe. It seemed like a simple gesture on our part, but after receiving a heart-warming note from Officer Cohen, I realized that it’s more than a simple gesture. Through t-shirts, the squadron feels closer to home, they are reminded why they do what they do.

Officer Cohen put it perfectly, “Our undisclosed location may be thousands of miles away, but this helps us feel a little more like home”.

Squadron in Ayudan Gear

To learn more about everything the Miami Marlins do for the military, click here.

Support Our Troops!

Today we are excited to share this picture we received from Afghanistan of SGT Mickey Planker of the 806 MP company representing the Marlins overseas! The Marlins are happy to support our troops!

Fan Club Overseas

A reminder that every Monday is South Florida Heroes Monday. All active and retired military personnel, veterans, first responders and military citizens, as well as their families, receive complimentary tickets for Monday games in 2013!

Pro vs GI Joe: Doin’ a little for those who do a lot

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Who are you calling a noob? A few Marlins came out early to the ballpark to take part in the event that matches up professional athletes with overseas service men and women to play “Call of Duty” on XBOX Live. This afternoon, Steve Cishek, Heath Bell, Rob Brantley, Chris Hatcher, Dan Jennings, and Bryan Petersen linked up to play against troops from the USO Warrior Center in Landstuhl, Germany. Everyone on both sides had a lot of fun with it including Heath Bell who came prepared, equipped with a camouflage hat and night vision goggles (in the daytime). Steve Cishek has done a number of youth baseball clinics this year and after today’s dominant performance during the “Pro vs GI Joe” event, we can add one more clinic to his resume.

In the Spirit of the 4th of July: A Sincere Thank You to the Men and Women Who Serve our Country

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays (the other being Thanksgiving).  I am proud to be an American, and I am eternally grateful to all those who serve our country. Our troops and their families give so much, sometimes the ultimate sacrifice, to ensure our freedom.  I’ve often wondered what is the best way to show my appreciation. 

The Fish are on the road in Pittsburgh on the 4th, so July 1st was Military Appreciation Day at Marlins Park.  Prior to the game, Marlins personnel Giancarlo Stanton, Heath Bell, Mike Dunn, Steve Cishek and Ozzie Guillen spent time signing baseballs and posing for photos with wounded warriors from the Miami VA and the Wounded Warrior Project.  One of the warriors, Roberto Cruz, threw out the ceremonial first pitch and then enjoyed the game with all of the other warriors in a suite compliments of the Miami Dade Police Department and POAT.  We have partnered with the VA and WWP on this event for the warriors for many years, and it is always a great expereice for all those involved. 

This year, being the inaugural year at Marlins Park, we wanted to add a new fan element to our Military Appreciation Day.  So, we thought we would bring everyone together in one huge thank you…a salute FROM our fans TO our troops!  In partnership with our friend Greg Zinone, Founder of Pro vs. GI Joe, we were able to link live with the USO Center in Kandahar, Afghanistan.  The troops were shown live on MarlinsVision, and all of the Marlins fans (and yes…Phillies fans, too) stood up, cheered and threw out a salute to the troops.  The energy in the ballpark was amazing…gave me goose bumps!

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Our players and front office staff also signed a banner that will be sent to the same USO Center in Kandahar as a permanent symbol of our unwavering support to all of the men and women in uniform.  Prior to the game on Saturday, the banner was on display and fans were encouraged to join in and show their support by signing a card.  Many fans had family or friends currently deployed, some had sons and daughters that had just returned home, and others were Viet Nam Veterans.  Many parents took the time to explain to their children the importance of what they were doing as they helped them write a note to our soldiers.  It was a heartwarming experience to say the least.  All of the cards will be sent to the USO Center in Kandahar along with the banner. 

As I watch the fireworks on Wednesday night and reflect on how grateful I am to live in the greatest country in the world, I will also ponder the next way to show my gratitude to those that protect and fight for me.