The Los Angeles Dodgers hosted roughly 350 pre-selected active-duty service members and veterans of the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Space Force and their families on Friday, November 10 at Dodger Stadium for a special Veterans Day batting practice event.
The attendees took part in a rotation of activities, including batting practice, pitching in the bullpen, photo opportunities with the 2020 World Series trophy, tours of Dodger Stadium, and activations in the Center Field Plaza. The event ran from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and lunch was also provided to the veterans, service members and their families.
“Every year we look forward to honoring the dedication and sacrifice made by American veterans and their families,” Dodgers senior director of government and community affairs Kristin McCowan said.
“This year, we are reminded of the significance of the commitment that so many people make to serve our country every day. When that service concludes, they are still owed our gratitude.
“The Los Angeles Dodgers Veterans Day event, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH), is just one small way to show our continued appreciation.”
As part of the day, Chris Taylor took part in a Q&A with SportsNet LA host Kirsten Watson. Taylor had an interview with Watson before it was turned over for fans to ask questions.
“I think I speak for most all Americans when I say we have it pretty good,” Taylor said on the importance of Veterans Day. “I think it’s important that we take today to recognize the sacrifices that all of the veterans and their families have made so we can have the quality of life that we live every day and for our freedom.”
Billy Ashley, alongside his father, Billy Ashley Sr., who is a former United States Marine Corps Sergeant who served in the Vietnam War, welcomed the group and gave guests pointers during their batting practice. Steve Yeager was also in attendance to greet guests, sign autographs and take photos.
Dodgers honored by U.S. Marines
The Dodgers and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health were also presented an award by the United States Marines 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines, for their recognition and work with veterans in L.A.
“The L.A. Dodgers have been a tremendous partner in recognizing the different people and communities that make Los Angeles so rich in culture, diversity, and experience,” director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Dr. Lisa H. Wong said.
“We are proud to join the Dodgers once again in honoring our nation’s veterans with a day at the ballpark, specially designed and dedicated to them.
“On Veterans Day and every day, LACDMH remains committed to providing mental health services and resources to L.A. County’s veterans and their families through our Veterans Peer Access Network (VPAN). Led by veterans for veterans, LACDMH’s VPAN is a community-driven support network that provides those who served with hope, well-being, and a greater quality of life.”
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