Saturday, August 31st is Veteran’s Appreciation Day at Cheney Stadium. The Tacoma Rainiers honor veterans and wounded warriors, with events throughout the day. From 11 am to 1 pm is the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball team against the JBLM Softball team in the stadium. From 1 pm to 6 pm is the Operation Welcome Home Event in the outfield parking lot. There will be live music, fun for all ages, food, and community organizations that support veterans. At 6:30 pm will be Operation Welcome Home, and pregame events in the stadium, not to be missed as the Veterans are honored. At 7 pm, the Rainiers will throw the first pitch of the baseball game. Between the innings, 6 VIP Veterans will be recognized.
Rod Wittmier, Founder of the National Alliance to End Veteran Suicide and Army Veteran from 1974 – 1978, explained the purpose of Veteran’s Appreciation Day, “To have our Veterans sense the appreciation of a grateful nation for their service and their sacrifices, to educate the public that our Veterans are taking their lives at the rate of 22 per day, and to extend an invitation to anyone with a warm heart to become part of the mission to End Veteran Suicide in our nation [is our purpose]. You need not be a Veteran to make a difference!”
All Veterans and Active Duty Service Members, and their families are invited to attend the events and festivities, as well as anyone that would like to help us acknowledge our Veterans, and thank them for their service and to welcome them home. The entertainment line-up includes the international entertainer Tony La Stella and his America Be Strong show.
Even in the planning of this event, it has helped veterans in giving them a purpose and outlet to show their abilities and be a part of the community. For some, it has restored their leadership abilities, showed that they have value to their community and has lifted their self-esteem. In everything NA2EVS does, their goal and mission is to save lives of our Veterans. Rod added that “We ask that each Veteran that joins our mission, realize that they are a part of something that is much bigger than themselves, [and] that they are now “on their next mission,” and by doing so they will create a life worth living.”
Rod added: “This is Western Washington’s opportunity to recognize our men and women that have served. Don’t let one Veteran miss this opportunity to be welcomed home, reach out and do what it takes to get them to this event. Know that with many Veterans, if you don’t take them they won’t go!”
There is booth space still available for the event. Those that are interested in having a booth at the event, the deadline is Wednesday, August 28. Please Call Ron Letendre at 253-224-7445 to work something out as we want every Veteran friendly resource with us!
Schedule of events:
Game Time: 7:00PM
Veterans Tailgate Event: 1:00pm-6:00pm
Cheney Stadium Gates Open at 6:00pm
Rainiers vs. Sacramento River Cats
Group Express Ticket – $15
(Reserved Seat game ticket & Ballpark meal)
Military Double Play Ticket – $25
(Reserved Seat game ticket, ballpark meal, Rainiers camo hat)
All tickets include:
Admission to the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Game
Gates Open at: 11:00am
Game Starts at: 11:30am
For more information or to purchase tickets please visit:
Enter special code – veteran
A portion of each ticket purchased is donated to the mission of NA2EVS and its focus areas of Education, Research, Resources and Community. Purchasing online allows up to 19 tickets to be purchased, per order. Groups larger then 19, or those that would like to donate tickets to the Veterans at the WTB or VA Hospital should call Chris Aubertin of the Tacoma Rainiers at 253-761-5631. Online ticket sales via the Rainiers will be allowed until 5 pm on Friday, August 30. Same day tickets may be purchased at the Tailgate, at the Welcome Booth, until midafternoon on Saturday, August 31.
For more information on the mission and focus areas of NA2EVS, please visit: www.na2evs.org
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com