CHICAGO, Ill.A,A - More than 150 members of America's armed forces and their guests celebrated Independence Day with the Chicago White Sox by participating in an on-field pre-game parade and recognition ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field Friday.

As red, white and blue balloonsA,A climbed into theA,A welcoming sky, troops gleamed with pride as they shook hands and waved to fans applauding them in the stands.

It was a proud moment for many military members.

Army Private 1st Class Peter Garcia, a personnel specialist with the 416th Engineer Command, Darien Ill. said, "I feel honored to represent the Army the best I can, and wear the uniform and to wear it proudly."

Navy Engineman 3rd Class Jacob Moran, from Abilene, Texas, assigned to Naval Station Great Lakes said, "This makes me very proud. I'm honored to be supported by a team like the White Sox."

Christina Vanderlois, a native ofA,A Los Angeles, Calif., who is stationed at Great Lakes Naval Station with her husband, said being a military spouse is a great honor. "I love being a military spouse. I get to support the person who I love," she said.

"It's an honor to stand next to him when he's wearing his uniform or when he's recognized for being a military member. I'm proud of him. He's been to Iraq three times and has fought for our country. Both of our sons look up to him and want to join the military," she added.

Many military members expressed their appreciation for being able to serve in the military and were honored to be part of the game's events.

Army Staff Sgt Kevin Arrington, Downers Grove Recruiting Company, Chicago Recruiting Battalion said, "It helps us realize what we are doing for the country."

Almost echoing Arrington's sentiments, Navy Firecontrolmen Mark Kearsing, Greenburg N.J. native assigned to Great Lake Naval Station said, "This really means a lot to be supported by the people of Chicago and the White Sox, it feels pretty good. This is an honor to have the uniform on."

Marine Gunnery Sgt, Laron Griffin, Tupelo, Miss, Career Recruiter, Marine Recruiting Station Chicago said, "I think it's a tremendous opportunity that the White Sox cares not only about the community but also about the military." We appreciate the White Sox supporting the military and the Chicago Marines.

The tribute to the troops at U.S. Cellular Field was in honor and support of all military members serving not only in the U.S.but, around the globe. The White Sox and fans throughout the Chicagoland area thanked service members for their service with thunderous applause on Independence Day.

Page last updated Mon July 7th, 2008 at 22:18