CHICAGO - The Chicago Cubs honored two U.S. Army Reserve officers, at two different home games, during a military salute in the second inning of their series with the Milwaukee Brewers.
“It was an amazing honor to represent the Army and the 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command at the game,” said Lt. Col. Benjamin Dykstra. “It was a surreal experience to stand on the field with thousands of cheering fans as they read my biography.”
Dykstra, who was set to retire in a few days, was honored for his 21 years of service in the Army with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It was a thrilling way to spend my second to last day in the Army, as I retire on May 31st,” said Dykstra, a lifelong Cubs fan who grew up on the northwest side of Chicago. “As I reflect on my 21 years of service, I believe it is the people that make the Army special. I had so many good Army bosses, fellow officers, non-commissioned officers and Soldiers who taught me much of what I know as an adult.”
The Cubs also honored Capt. Diane Torbeck, physician assistant, 85th USARSC at a home game, a few nights later.
“I’m always so amazed at how people thank us and honor the military. People are so kind and genuinely grateful. I’m so appreciative,” said Torbeck before the start of the game.
She was inspired to join the military by her husband, Army Reserve Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Torbeck, who is a former non-commissioned officer that joined the warrant officer ranks.
“I was always so impressed by the camaraderie of the servicemembers and how they work together,” Torbeck said.
In her civilian life, Torbeck works at the Jesse Brown Veterans Administration hospital in Chicago.
“I’m celebrating six years of service at the V.A. today. I started the day after Memorial Day,” she said.
Baseball fans clapped and cheered as Torbeck waved to the crowd on the Wrigley Field jumbotron.
“This is the best. I love this,” explained Todd Sikora, Cubs employee and retired math teacher, “I think it’s wonderful how they honor the military.”