Around the Miami Valley
2:45 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Dragons Baseball Team to Honor Springfield Guard and WPAFB Saturday Night

The Dayton Dragons have partnered with the Dayton Development Coalition, to honor all service men and women associated with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Springfield Air National Guard Base.

The Dragons are set to host the final “Hometown Heroes Celebration Night” of the season at Fifth Third Field on Saturday, when they open up a four-game series against the West Michigan Whitecaps. The game starts at 7 p.m., but the activities start on the plaza at 6 p.m.
 
During the game, the Dragons will honor nine Airmen recently returned from overseas duty in addition to presenting a video greeting card on the Dragons video board. 

The Airmen were deployed from WPAFB around the world including Afghanistan, Africa, Kuwait, and South Korea.

The greeting card will be from Senior Airman James McGrath, who will leave for training on Sunday and deployment shortly thereafter. McGrath and his family will be in attendance on Saturday.

Colonel Cassie Barlow, who was recently named the new Commander of the 88th Air Base Wing at WPAFB, will be in attendance to throw a ceremonial first pitch and welcome home the returning Airmen.  Col. Barlow was named to her current post in July and is in charge one of the largest air base wings in the Air Force.
 
Lieutenant General C.D. Moore, Commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at WPAFB, will address the crowd and also swear in a group of Air Force recruits.

Four Tuskegee Airmen from World War II will be in attendance and recognized on the field in the middle of the third inning. The four airmen are residents of the Dayton region.

Festivities for the Celebration Night will begin with military displays on the Fifth Third Field plaza at 6 p.m.  Other pregame activities include the display of a giant American flag by children of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Airmen and the Wright-Patterson Honor Guard will present the colors.

Children of Springfield Air National Guard Airmen will serve as Kroger Baseball Buddies for Saturday’s game.  Kelly Perry, Senior Airman in the Air Force Band of Flight, will perform the national anthem. 

Following the anthem, there will be a flyover featuring vintage WWII Trainer plane, the PT-17 Stearman, which will be flanked two bi-planes. Perry will also sing God Bless America.