SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Missions baseball fans were treated to a jam-packed display of what their U.S. Army neighbors are all about during military appreciation night at Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium, August 24, 2022. As fans entered the gates, they were greeted by the sound of "Fort Sam’s Own" 323d Army Band, as well as meet-and-greets with Soldiers astride horses from the U.S. Army North Caisson Platoon, and recruiters from the 5th Recruiting Brigade and 5th Medical Recruiting Battalion.
“The Missions are always honored to host our Military Appreciation events so we can not only entertain and celebrate our Military community, but because it is our chance to highlight just how important and special our heroes are,” said David Gasaway, San Antonio Missions General Manager.
Kicking off the game, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by the Commander of the 32d Medical Brigade, Col. Marc Welde. Following the pitch, the singing of the national anthem was sung by Welde’s spouse, Rachael Welde, who was joined by a color guard from U.S. Army South, and Soldiers from the Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston Funeral Honors Platoon Salute Gun Battery, which fired 75mm gun blasts in time to the lyrics.
“I was extremely honored to throw the first pitch of the game,” said Col. Welde. “The Military Appreciation Night is a great opportunity for our Soldiers to connect with the local community and San Antonio Missions Baseball! It’s also wonderful to have so many of our unit’s family members of all ages attend the event.”
Cheering on their commander from the stands were 60 Advanced Individual Training Soldiers and their drill sergeants, all of whom joined in the stadium’s recognition and salute to military and veterans present at the game.
Drill Sergeant Barbara Wandick, Bravo Company, 264th Medical Battalion, was proud to represent the Army while wearing the uniform and her Drill Sergeant Campaign hat and mentioned this was the first baseball game she had ever attended and had a great experience.
“Thank you, San Antonio, for your continuous support and showing your appreciation for our service,” said Wandick.
In the 7th inning stretch, musicians from "Fort Sam’s Own" serenaded the crowd with the song “God Bless America” and got them up on their feet for “Take Me Out to the Ball Game!”
The evening was not only a victory for the local team winning 11-10 but shared a piece of Army life and careers at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston with our Military City, USA neighbors, thus building a stronger community together.
The 32d Medical Brigade is the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence’s singular training brigade, and together they train over 35,000 Army Medicine Soldiers annually. For more information about the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, visit www.medcoe.army.mil.