By Tiffany D. Wood, Fort Leonard Wood Public AffairsOctober 19, 2012
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Oct. 19, 2012) -- Thirty Soldiers and a Joint Services Color Guard from Fort Leonard Wood participated in pre-game ceremonies for Game 3 of the National League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants, Oct. 17, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
As the seven-member Joint Services Color Guard marched on to the field and the Soldiers unfurled the flag on the grassy knoll behind the stadium's center-field fence, the sun peaked out of the clouds for a brief moment just in time for country artist Joe Nichols to perform the national anthem.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Kenneth Tussey, who has been a part of a Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Joint Services Color Guard three times at Busch Stadium in the past two months -- once for a military appreciation day and twice now for the playoffs -- said at the end of the national anthem, the fans' excitement could be felt on the field.
"Right when we get out there on the field, it is so nerve wracking, but when the music starts it's calming," Tussey, who bears the Air Force flag in the color guard, said. "And when the people cheer at the end, there's nothing like it."
This was the second Cardinals' playoff game for Staff Sgt. Anita Dinkens this year. Dinkens, who is an instructor at the MSCoE Noncommissioned Officers Academy and was the color guard's rifle bearer, said it was an honor to be a part of the ceremony.
"Wow, it was amazing," Dinkens said. "I definitely have a sense of pride in what we are doing."
According to Pfc. Travis Hooks of the 5th Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, unfurling the flag was a tremendous opportunity, especially since it was his first time attending a professional baseball game -- ever.
"This is my first MLB game, and I jumped on the opportunity to unfurl the flag because this may not happen again for me," said Hooks, who admitted to being a bit nervous in front of thousands of people.
After the pre-game ceremony, service members had the opportunity to stay and watch the game. After a rain delay during the 7th inning, the Cardinals beat the Giants 3-1.
This was the second playoff game the Cardinals requested support from Fort Leonard Wood. During Game 1 of the National League Division Series where the Washington Nationals beat the Cardinals 3-2, Fort Leonard Wood provided a Joint Service Color Guard, 30 Soldiers to unfurl the flag and the 399th Army Band, which performed the national anthem.
If the Cardinals advance to the World Series, the Cardinals have already asked for Fort Leonard Wood Soldiers to unfurl a flag.