Sierra Nevada Chapter 989 of the Vietnam Veterans of America in Reno and the Aces baseball team have partnered for this year’s annual Military Appreciation Night at Greater Nevada Field on Saturday.
Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and the game begins at 7:05 p.m. Vietnam veteran and chapter 989 member, Andy LePeilbet, will throw out the first pitch. He served in southeast Asia as a U.S. Army first lieutenant.
The highlight of the evening, though, takes place during the seventh inning break. Aces General Manager Emily Jaenson said the ball club and VVA 989 will dedicate a POW-MIA (prisoner of war/missing in action) seat during the middle of the seventh inning. She said guests will be introduced, and then a plaque will be read followed by the crowd singing “God Bless America” going into the seventh inning stretch.
J.R. Stafford, president of chapter 989, said the POW/MIA seat will be located in section 118. He said it will be both an honor to recognize veterans, both living and present, and to remember those who were either captured by the enemy or were declared missing in action.
During the Military Appreciation Night, Jaenson said Army and Navy representatives will set up recruiting tables and also take part in the pregame ceremonies and interact with the fans. Other activities include an honor guard parading the colors, a recognition of Soldiers of the Year and new recruits taking their oaths.
So far, Jaenson said a representative from the Nevada Veterans Coalition will sing the national anthem.
Additionally, the Aces general manager said the team’s players and coaches will wear special military-themed jerseys which will be auctioned with proceeds going to the Disabled American Veterans. She said the Aces are in the process of producing a tribute video to say thank you to all the players and front-office staff who have had family members serve in the military.
In keeping with the Military Night theme, she said food items also have a special name for the event such as the 4-star general burger, freedom funnel fries and tango (tater) tots.
Jaenson said military members and their families can go to renoaces.com to order tickets. For discounted group tickets with Vietnam Veterans chapter 989,go to https://groupmatics.events/event/VietnamVeterans989.