MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
The San Diego Padres shutout the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0, in a game dedicated to the men and women of the armed services at Petco Park Monday.
During the game, which was held as the opening event for this year’s Fleet Week, six wounded warriors from Marine Medical Rehabilitation Platoon, Naval Medical Center San Diego were given a VIP escort to the field where they were honored at home plate during the pre-game ceremony.
Corporal Garrett Jones, 22, from Newberg, Ore., and an infantryman with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, was among the wounded warriors who were honored before thousands of baseball fans.
“The support from the San Diego community is unbelievable,” said Jones, who lost his left leg from an improvised explosive device attack while he was on a combat patrol in Karmah, Iraq in July. “Whether injured or not I think it’s really great that they appreciate and care about us.”
The wounded warriors’ VIP event was sponsored by the military segment for the Bank of America, and it included a pre-game visit to the field during batting practice.
The Marines were greeted by several professional athletes including Padres pitchers Jake Peavy and Trevor Hoffman.
In addition to sponsoring the wounded warriors’ night at Petco Park, Bank of America provided 3,000 more tickets to San Diego’s military community for the game. The organization has also provided countless care packages over the past years for the troops serving in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“As a military bank we have always been supportive of service members,” said retired Army Lt. Col. Kirk D. Frady, vice president for Military Bank of America in San Antonio. “We honor them because of the selfless sacrifices they make for our country.”
The game, which opened with a pitch from Maj. Gen. Terry G. Robling, commanding general, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., is one of many events that will be held for service members during Fleet Week.
Fleet Week was created by community and business leaders who sought to express their support for the military in the defense of the country and development of the community.
Since San Diego’s adoption of Fleet Week in 1997, the number of events held in honor of service members has grown. For more information on Fleet Week events, visit www.fleetweeksandiego.org.