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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | July 24, 2012

Baysox honors Andrews service members, local heroes

By Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones 11th Wing Public Affairs

Baseball, hotdogs and fireworks were the order of the evening as Team Andrews members enjoyed Andrews Night at the Baysox on July 20 at the Bowie Baysox Stadium.
This year, the Bowie Baysox, the Baltimore Orioles' minor league team, combined last year's "Andrews Night" with "Heroes Night" honoring not only service members, but local firefighters, police officers and other emergency service personnel as well.

"The Baysox are proud to host both Joint Base Andrews Night and Heroes Night as one this season," said Phil Wrye, Bowie Baysox assistant general manager. "We felt that by pairing these two special events, we would be able to show Baysox fans that heroes are from all parts of our community, from our military to the police, fire, EMS personnel who all risk their lives to assist our communities daily."

The Baysox donated more than 2000 tickets to Outdoor Recreation to be distributed to Team Andrews' members and their families, free of charge.

During the game, the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard presented the colors as Airman 1st Class Andre Petway, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard ceremonial guardsman sang the National Anthem.

Airman 1st Class Marquis Smith, 11th Wing Comptroller Squadron financial management technician; Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jaime Zhunepluas, Naval Air Facility Washington training and readiness assistant leading petty officer; Marine Sgt. Daniel Basan, Marine Transport Detachment operations chief and Army Staff Sgt. Neil Percifull, United States Army Priority Air Transport (USAPAT) C-27 flight engineer, were hand selected to represent each branch of service on Andrews were recognized during the pregame ceremonies and subsequently threw out the first pitch

"The event was memorable for me because it was the first time I received such an honor from a local community and my command," said Zhunepluas. "My presence and presence of the other service members at the game instilled in me great pride to the military and Joint Base Andrews."

Despite the rainy weather that preceded the game, the Baysox came out on top against the Binghamton Mets under clear skies.

"The home team shut out the visiting team 10-0," said Zhunepluas. "It was an incredible game!"

The Baysox win was followed by an explosive display of appreciation for the heroes. Each service' s song was played during the fireworks show.

"To have you all come out and watch us play it is quite an honor," said Gary Kendall, Bowie Baysox manager. "It also gives us an opportunity to say thank you for all that you do for us to keep us safe and out of harms way."