By Susanne Kappler, Leader staffJune 12, 2009
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- More than 3,000 Fort Jackson Soldiers got a break from training Saturday to enjoy a Columbia Blowfish baseball game as the club celebrated military appreciation night.
The Soldiers - members of the 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, the 187th Ordnance Battalion and the 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) -- were also treated to free hot dogs and sodas.
Pvt. Michael Johnson, Company C, 187th Ord. Bn., is a Pittsburgh native and fan of the Pirates. "I like to go to the baseball games a lot," he said. "(Being at this game) is kind of like going home." The game, which was free to all military ID card holders, also attracted former service members who wanted to show their appreciation to those who currently serve.
Leon Heying, a Vietnam-era Air Force veteran, who attends a few Blowfish games each season, said he came Saturday to recognize the Soldiers.
"I especially wanted to come tonight," he said. "I support the military; I always have." Before the game, Christian country music artist Eric Horner entertained the crowd.
Horner, who has performed at Fort Jackson numerous times, said performing in front of troops allows him to give something back to them.
"Anybody who puts his or her name on the dotted line is a hero to me," Horner said. "And (performing) is what I can do for them." Toward the end of the game, the Soldiers recited the Soldiers' Creed in unison -- to the delight of the civilian fans.
"This is why America rocks," one yelled from the stands, pointing at the Soldiers. Susanne.Kappler1@us.army.mil