Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander, administers the oath of enlistment to 31 members of the delayed enlistment program during the Hometown Heroes military appreciation night at Fifth Third Field Aug 18. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

Dayton Dragons host military appreciation night

The Dayton Dragons semi-professional baseball team hosted an annual military appreciation night Aug. 18 at Fifth Third Field, culminating with a fireworks display.

The Dragons played an exciting game against the Bowling Green Hot Rods, and won 3-1 in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 7,000 fans.

As fans walked into the Fifth Third Field plaza area, there were military displays from the 88th Security Forces Squadron, 445th Aero Medical Squadron, 338th Recruiting Squadron and Air Force Marathon office.

The pre-game field activities began with Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley, Air Force Research Laboratory commander, and Col. Thomas Sherman, 88th Air Base Wing commander, both throwing out ceremonial first pitches.

The Wright-Patterson Honor Guard presented the colors, and Airman 1st Class Barry Fortgang from the Air Force Band of Flight sang the national anthem. Airmen assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Springfield Air National Guard carried and displayed a large American flag in center field.

At the conclusion of the national anthem a C-130 aircraft from the 910th Airlift Wing, Youngstown Air Reserve, flew over the field as doves were release to create a heartfelt and proud patriotic moment.

At the bottom of the first inning Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander, administered the oath of enlistment to 31 future Air Force Airmen.

“Less than 2 percent of the people in this country have served in the military, and these recruits leave as early as next month to serve their country,” said McMurry.

The Hometown Heroes military appreciation night honored current and former members of the nation’s armed forces with tributes throughout the evening, including a military salute to each branch of the service by singing each service’s song and asking veterans and their families to stand to be recognized.

Fortgang sang “God Bless America” in the in the middle of the seventh inning.

The Dragons wore special military-themed uniforms during the game.