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Atlanta Braves pay tribute to Marines

By Pamela Jackson | | July 24, 2014

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In appreciation for their service to the country, the Major League Baseball team, Atlanta Braves, paused to honor Marines from Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Marine Corps Logistics Command, Marine Corps Systems Command and Marine Corps Recruiting Station Atlanta at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia, July 19.

Highlights before the game included Maj. Gen. John J. Broadmeadow, commanding general, LOGCOM, throwing out the celebratory first pitch to Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and Col. Don Davis, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, serving as the Atlanta Braves honorary team captain.

“It was a great honor for me to represent the Marine Corps at the Atlanta Braves game last Saturday,” Broadmeadow said. “To be on that field, surrounded by Marines and accompanied by Corporal Kyle Carpenter, the Corps’ most recent Medal of Honor recipient, was truly a memorable experience.  I think we can all be grateful to the Atlanta Braves for hosting Marine Corps Appreciation Day and to Major League Baseball for holding military appreciation days throughout the season. This was an event I will never forget.”

More than 60 other Marines participated in on-field activities by lining the bases, presenting the colors and carrying the Marine Corps flag as recent Medal of Honor recipient, Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, led the formation onto Turner Field while thousands of screaming and clapping fans watched.

Davis said, “It was an amazing opportunity that will not be soon forgotten. There’s nothing    like coming out onto the field and hearing the roar of the crowd while a tribute is being given to our Marines. I truly was humbled by this great state, the (Atlanta) Braves organization and the Marines I serve with.”

A longtime fan of the Atlanta Braves, one Marine talked about his experience.

Cpl. James Etheridge, administrative specialist, Military Personnel Branch, MCLB Albany, said he felt honored to be able to represent the Marine Corps as part of the MCLB Albany Color Guard. 

“Being on the field was a great experience that I’ll remember for as long as I live,” Etheridge said. “Growing up watching the (Atlanta) Braves, I’ve always dreamed of playing for them and standing on their field.

“This game was very special compared to the other five I’ve been to this year because my family was able to be there and see me in action,” he said. “It was a chance for them to see a different side of the Marine Corps other than what they see on the news.”

Etheridge said the moment he enjoyed most was meeting Carpenter and being able to talk with him.

Davis added, “This was my first Braves game and it was a great time. Of course, it would have been better if the Braves won, but they treated us like heroes. I truly enjoyed seeing our Marines being honored. Their faces beamed with pride while on the field and you could tell at that moment how much they loved being Marines.

“I’d like to express my appreciation to everyone from the Albany team who put this event together as well as the Braves organization and United Military Care,” Davis noted. “They gave us an honor and a memory that is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
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