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Padres salute service members during Military Appreciation Day Cpl. Laura Gauna

Marines with 1st Marine Logistics Group and other military units throughout California stand at attention as the San Diego Padres mascot looks on during a Military Appreciation Day event at Petco Park, April 14, 2013. The Major League Baseball team hosts these events regularly to show their appreciation for the large military influence present in California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Laura Gauna/Released)

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – The roar of hundreds of cheering fans thundered through the stadium as service members marched across the San Diego Padres’ baseball field during a Military Appreciation Day event, April 14, 2013.

More than a dozen Marines with 1st Marine Logistics Group participated in the ceremony hosted by the San Diego Padres Major League Baseball team, to help represent the Marine Corps’ presence in the southern California area.

The Padres, known to many as the “Team of the Military,” invited all branches of the armed forces to participate in the team’s first Military Appreciation Day of the season.

“We do this to show our appreciation to the military,” said Krista Moffett, a Padres Squad team member and a native of Carlsbad, Calif. “This is something the Padres take pride in. Since we have so many retired and active duty fans in the stands, we wanted to show them that we care about them. We want the military to know how grateful we are for what they do.”

The Padres began holding Military Appreciation Days in 1995. The tradition started shortly after the team hired John C. Ensch, a retired Navy captain, to be a liaison between the club and all branches of the armed forces serving in and around San Diego. Ensch said the Padres have had a great relationship with all the services.

“We’re proud to be called the ‘Team of the Military,’” said Ensch in a San Diego article. “We are very sensitive of the military in this town because of the long history the military has here.”

Retired members in the crowd said the applause and cheers by the nonmilitary baseball fans in the stands was moving.

For many of the Marines participating, it was the first time they had experienced something like this.

“It’s great to have the opportunity to be out here representing the Marine Corps in this manner,” said Sgt. Oswaldo Leal, a supply administrator with 1st Supply Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st MLG. “To have people come up and thank these Marines is a great thing.”

As tradition dictates, Padres players donned their traditional Military Appreciation Day camouflage jerseys on this special day.
Despite losing a close game to the Colorado Rockies, the Padres fans and several hundred service members in attendance were happy to have been part of such a significant occasion.


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Padres salute service members during Military Appreciation Day, by Cpl Laura Gauna, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:04.14.2013

Date Posted:04.16.2013 15:14

Location:CAMP PENDLETON, CA, USGlobe

More Like This

  • The San Diego Padres honored Marines during a military appreciation day at Petco Park, July 8.
  • Military children from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. attended the Little Warrior baseball clinic provided by USAA, at Petco Park, home of the Padres, Aug. 24.

Participants from military installations throughout San Diego went through a circuit course of exercises including batting and catching techniques with Padres players at three different stations on the field. 

USAA and the Padres held this event in recognition of service members and to give back to military families, explained Randy Jones, a retired Padres player.
  • In an effort to thank service members and their families, the San Diego Padres Foundation and USAA hosted a baseball clinic for military children at Petco Park, Aug. 22.
  • Hundreds of baseball fans cheered as Marines with 1st Marine Logistics Group marched onto the field and saluted the colors before a sold-out Padres game during  Military Appreciation Day  hosted by the Padres at Petco Park, March 31, 2014.

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