Military Appreciation Day
Veterans and their families are invited to Lee University's Olympic Field for Military Appreciation Day on Saturday, April 16.
Military Appreciation Day is an afternoon event that gives people a chance to publicly display their support of veterans and their families. Beginning in 2013, this event has been held annually by the Flames baseball team.
An hour after the event kicks off, the Lee Flames will take the field against Christian Brothers University in a doubleheader. The first game will begin at 2 p.m. and the second at 5:00 p.m.
During the baseball games, the fans can enjoy playing family games and free inflatables. There will also be a silent auction and military equipment for visitors to view. Free food will be given to veterans and active members of the military.
Flames Baseball Head Coach Mark Brew said the two main goals for the event are to recognize the service of the men and women in the Bradley county community and to raise funds for veterans.
'I have met some great people through this process, and the humility and servant-heart they all exhibit is second to none,' Brew said. 'I can think of no more noble cause than service to our country and want these men and women to truly know we appreciate what they do.'
This year Lee will be raising funds to help renovate the Fort Hill Cemetery. The cemetery provides free burial plots for veterans and their spouses. Brew said they are hoping to raise $8,000 to $10,000. All donations will go to local veteran organizations.
Ben Holland, who plays first base for the Flames, took a moment to reflect on Military Appreciation Day.
'For me, Military Appreciation Day is a day where I can step back a little bit and reflect on the sacrifices made by those who serve,' Holland said. 'I think about all the people who have served and have sacrificed not just their bodies, but times with their families and loved ones.'
Holland's father was a Navy recon corpsman who served with the Navy and Marines. He said he believes that growing up with a military father has positively affected his life.
'I learned that through hard work, I can achieve whatever I set my mind to,' Holland said. 'I learned how to manage a relationship with someone I care about from a long distance away, and I also believe that the entire situation helped me to mature into the person I am today.'
The free event will take place April 16 from 1 to 5 p.m., and will be open to the entire community.