Results tagged ‘ Patriotic Series ’

Nationals Independence Day

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Few cities know how to put on an Independence Day celebration like our Nation’s Capital. Add baseball to the mix and you aren’t likely to get more patriotic than if you were eating apple pie dressed as Uncle Sam. This year, the Nationals put together a truly special lineup of guests and entertainment to celebrate the birth of our nation and the third game of the 2013 Patriotic Series, presented by SAIC.

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Prior to the game, the Nationals joined with SAIC and the Wounded Warrior Project to donate tickets to our Wounded Warriors. A giant American flag in the shape of the United States was unfurled in the outfield during the pregame ceremonies prior to the National Anthem.

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As for the anthem itself, it was sung by the highest ranking soldier in the United States Army. General Martin E. Dempsey, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, performed the Star Spangled Banner with members of the Army Chorus.

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For Thursday’s military salute at the end of the third inning, the crowd was treated to a performance from music legend Neil Diamond. For the first time ever, he performed his new song, “Freedom Song (They’ll Never Take Us Down),” with 100% of proceeds from the single directly benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project.

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Finally, the Nationals sported their blue patriotic jerseys and special hats as they took on the Milwaukee Brewers. Wilson Ramos provided the fireworks for the afternoon, plating five RBI including three on his game-winning home run in the seventh inning as the Nationals won, 8-5.

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Helping Heroes Heal

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There are some things in life that, no matter how many times you experience them, are always striking. One of the more extraordinary aspects of the Washington Nationals recent visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda was the mutual admiration and gratitude from both the players and the veterans and families they visited. It is a sentiment often expressed by both sides, but the repetition of thanks does not draw away from its significance.

As they have done annually since 2005, a group of Nationals players and coaches made the trek before Tuesday night’s game to spend a couple of hours with wounded veterans recovering at Walter Reed. A total of 11 players – Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond, Zach Duke, Danny Espinosa, Adam LaRoche, Steve Lombardozzi, Ryan Mattheus, Tyler Moore, Craig Stammen, Drew Storen and Chad Tracy – along with coaches Randy Knorr and Jim Lett and broadcasters Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler visited with inpatients in the hospital as well as those working on their physical therapy at the Military Advanced Training Center (MATC). In between signing autographs and posing for photos, the team spent time listening to individual stories and thanking the veterans for their service. The ability to honor  members of our military is a unique opportunity that comes with playing here in D.C., one that Nationals players are keenly aware of.

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Of course, that support did not end with Tuesday’s visit. The Nationals will kick off the Patriotic Series, presented by SAIC, this Saturday, April 27 with Military Appreciation Day as they take on the Cincinnati Reds. Military members – active duty, dependent, reservist, or retiree – with a valid military ID will receive two free tickets, to that night’s game while supplies last, where Nationals players will sport their Patriotic Blue uniforms for the first time this year. Please visit http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ticketing/military.jsp for more details.

For more information on the Washington Nationals Military Initiatives, visit http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/community/military_initiative.jsp

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