Participants in the U.S. Air Force’s Delayed Entry Program take the oath of enlistment Aug. 9 in a pregame ceremony presided over by Col. Thomas Sherman, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, at Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, prior to a Reds-Cubs baseball game. The U.S. Air Force Band of Flight and the Wright-Patterson AFB Honor Guard also took part in pregame activities. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

Cincinnati Reds host annual night for honoring Airmen

The Cincinnati Reds honored Airmen from the 88th Air Base Wing and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as part of the team’s annual military appreciation night in Cincinnati Aug. 9.

The Airmen participated in and were recognized during pregame activities at Great American Ball Park in front of more than 31,000 attendees.

“We are always excited to have an opportunity to do this,” said Col. Thomas Sherman, 88th ABW and installation commander.

Sherman added that seeing the support shown by the crowd and the Cincinnati Reds and all of the effort that went into making the event happen made it a great Air Force day.

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Before the on-field activities began, the U.S. Air Force Band of Flight’s Flight One performed in the Reds’ Fan Zone.

Sherman kicked off the on-field activities when he administered the oath of office to 38 Air Force recruits.

“Thank you so much for sharing in a little bit of history tonight as we see these amazing young men and women take the oath to support and defend their country and that means every single one of you in the audience this evening,” said Sherman.

After the swearing in, the lineup continued with Sherman and Chief Master Sgt. Stephen Arbona, 88th ABW command chief, helping the Reds recognize eight Airmen for their outstanding performance. Those Airmen included:

• Airman 1st Class Esteban Camacho, National Air and Space Intelligence Center;

• Airman 1st Class Tanner Carizey, NASIC;

• Senior Airman Devan Cyree, NASIC;

• Airman 1st Class Jacob Keller, 88th Medical Group;

• Airman Whitney McClellan, NASIC;

• Airman 1st Class Tommia Miller, 88th Medical Group;

• Airman 1st Class Hayley Ritter, 88th Force Support Squadron;

• Airman Curtis Richardson, 88th Medical Group.

Following that, Sherman threw the first pitch to Arbona who caught the ball.

Next up, McClellan, who in addition to being recognized for her outstanding performance, was selected as an honorary game captain. She went on the field to deliver the Reds’ lineup to the umpire.

“It was an awesome experience,” said McClellan.

The intelligence analyst added that she felt blessed to be selected as an honorary captain and that it was great to see everyone who not only came out but also cheered for the Airmen as they stood on the field.

Team Wright-Patterson’s lineup concluded with the WPAFB Honor Guard presenting colors as the U.S. Air Force Band of Flight’s Spirit of Freedom Band played the national anthem.

All participants were given tickets to watch the game. The Cincinnati Reds went on to beat the Chicago Cubs 5 to 2.

“From the bottom of our hearts, we truly appreciate the sincerity at which you support all of us,” said Sherman. “We love what we do … We serve this country for a very, very important reason, and it’s because we love the fact that we can live and breathe in freedom.”

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