Lynchburg, VA- Some dedicated baseball fans braved strong winds at Friday night's Lynchburg Hillcats game. But, some credit the good turnout to American pride.
It was Military Appreciation Night at City Stadium. All active duty and retired military members got free tickets and a free meal.
The Hillcats kicked off Memorial Day Weekend with an important reminder of what the holiday is really about. On Monday, we'll honor those who've fallen in the line of duty. Friday night, baseball fans of all ages got a chance to thank the men and women who protect, and protected, our country.
As crowds rolled into City Stadium to see the Hillcats take on the Potomac Nationals, service members and their families got a special greeting; a free ticket and a voucher for a free meal.
"It just is a thank you for the service they have done for their country," said Jerry Brittain, Director of the Military Family Support Center.
The Hillcats work with Brittain's organization and the U.S. Army Recruiting Command to make Military Appreciation Night a home run.
"It's just a great show of support. There's a lot of sacrifice that comes with being in the military, especially on our families. So, a chance to just come out with your family and spend some time together, have a lot of fun, is huge," said Nathan Kalb, a member of the Army.
From the national anthem to the last out, baseball players and fans alike were giving thanks to our troops.
"Sometimes I don't think the military is appreciated as much as it should be. But by the Hillcats and stuff, the things that are going on are great," said Ronnie Campbell, a veteran.
And service members agree, there's nothing more patriotic than saluting our nation's heroes while taking in a game of America's pastime.
"Any time you can give back to the people who serve our country a lot is a really good thing and they seem to be really military friendly here," said Ryan Adams, a member of the Army.
"We just appreciate so much that Lynchburg is such a military friendly town and that they think about the military families that are represented in the area," said one military wife.
And the Hillcats pulled out all the stops for Military Appreciation Night. They ended up beating the Potomac Nationals 7-3.