The Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota National Guard today announced plans for the team's 14th annual Armed Forces Appreciation Day to honor veterans and active service members from all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. This year the Minnesota Twins will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division and the 10th anniversary of the return of the 1/34 Brigade Combat Team from a 22 month deployment to Iraq. The ceremony will also include a flyover by the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade helicopters.
Thomson Reuters has generously donated 1,000 tickets for active and retired members of the U.S. Military, which have been distributed by the Military Family Assistance Centers throughout the state.
Through the "Seats for Soldiers" program, many Thomson Reuters Champions Club season ticket holders and suite holders have generously donated their seats and suites to wounded service members and their families. Gold Star Families, whose family members have served and died while on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States of America or its allies, will also be hosted in donated suites.
In addition, active military members and veterans with a valid ID plus four guests can receive half-price tickets in Home Plate View seating locations. (Available day of game only.)
"Thomson Reuters and season ticket holders have been very generous in donating their seat to Gold Star Families, Veterans, current service members and their families," said Army Lieutenant Andrea Drost, Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs Officer. "We are looking forward to an amazing day of baseball and patriotism. What an all-American feel, a great way to celebrate Armed Forces appreciation."
A special pregame ceremony is planned prior to the 1:10 p.m. game against the Detroit Tigers. Fans are encouraged to arrive by 12:15 p.m. to see the pregame elements. Pregame elements for Armed Forces Appreciation Day are on the following page.
Starting at 12:30 p.m. special pregame elements will include:
- Ceremonial first pitches thrown by Major General Rick Nash, who is in his last year as Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, and Lt. Johnny DiMenna.
- On-field ceremony recognizing the 100th anniversary of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division and 10th anniversary of the return of the 1st Brigade Combat Infantry, which included 5,000 troops in Iraq.
- A flyover will be performed by the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade helicopters.
- Raising of the American Flag by Sergeant Dustin Lauby of 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion, who recently returned from Afghanistan.
- Armed Forces vehicles on display at Target Plaza.
- Pregame and in-game performances by the Red Devil Rock Band from the third Floor balcony.
- Minnesota Military Appreciation Fund grant recipients check presentation.
- Thomson Reuters honoring their military and veteran employees.
- Honorary Captain Ryan McCormick, joining manager Paul Molitor at home plate for the umpires meeting.
- An unfurling of a giant flag by Twins, Delaware North Sportservice, and Thomson Reuters employees who have a military affiliation.
- Raising of the Twins Territory Flag by children of military families.
- The Perkins starting lineup including nine military members returning from deployment in Egypt.
- The National Anthem will be performed by Ava Penner, member of the Red Devil Rock Band.