Results tagged ‘ wounded warriors ’
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!
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.