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NEWS | May 22, 2012

Tides honor Service members at Armed Forced Night

By Airman 1st Class Teresa Cleveland 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

It was a beautiful day at the ballpark, May 19. As the Norfolk Tides prepared to play against the Pawtucket Red Sox at Harbor Park, Norfolk, Va., their uniforms drew second looks from the crowd.

They wore blue, digital-camouflage-print uniforms to honor the U.S. military. For 17 years, the Tides have hosted Armed Forces Night to show their appreciation for all U.S. Service members.

"It's always nice to know the community appreciates the military service," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher Wegner, 633rd Contracting Squadron commander. "This area certainly shows it."

Wegner witnessed first-hand the support of the local community to the Armed Forces when guests paused to observe a moment of silence to honor all U.S. Service members who have been lost, and for those who are currently on deployments around the world.
"It's an overwhelming feeling to be out here, and have my family watch me say the Oath of Enlistment," said Delayed Entry Program participant, Levanecia Floyd. "I just want to make them proud."

The Oath of Enlistment was administered to 20 Delayed Entry Program participants by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Frederick Rudesheim, Joint Staff Joint and Coalition Warfighting deputy director.

After the Oath of Enlistment, Norfolk Naval Station's Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two Six conducted a flyover, followed by the national anthem performed by the Air Force Heritage of America Band. They also played a medley of U.S. military anthems before select Service members from each military branch were called to the field.

These superior performers were asked to throw the ceremonial first pitch. U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jamecia Lazard, 438th Supply Chain Operations Squadron stock control journeyman, earned this honor after she was selected as Team Langley's 2011 Airman of the Year.

"It's a different experience and a big honor," Lazard said. "There's a lot of support, and it felt good to represent the Air Force in a positive way out on the field."

After the ceremonial first pitches, the Tides went on to win against the Red Sox, eight to four.

The evening ended with celebratory fireworks, which showed the Tides' appreciation for all U.S. Service members one more time.