Major League Baseball teams across the country paid tribute to fallen soldiers on Memorial Day by wearing military-inspired uniforms, but the Milwaukee Brewers took things one step further. Just before they took on the Minnesota Twins at Miller Park, the Brewers welcomed 40 servicemembers, veterans and military families to the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and for many of them the act took on added meaning, according to NBC affiliate WTMJ.
Sign of remembrance
Brothers Cole and Carter Naseman were among those who took part in the opening ceremony were brothers. Their father, Sgt. First Class Brian Naseman, was killed in Iraq in 2009, one of the more than 4,800 U.S. and coalition troops who lost their lives there. To them, throwing out the first pitch served as a way to help honor their father's legacy in a unique way. Not only that, but given the timing of the game, it held an especially important meaning.
"It's only a couple days away from when our dad died, so it's special to us," Cole, a 7th grader, told the news channel.
More than Milwaukee
While the Brewers efforts on Memorial Day, which included setting aside thousands of tickets for military families, was impressive, the organization was not the only one getting in on the action. For instance, a number of breweries across the country recently teamed up to create a unique beer, known as the Homefront IPA, which was released on Monday. Aside from being an original tribute to the military, all the proceeds from sales of the beer will go toward Operation Homefront, an organization that lends financial assistance to military families who are most in need, reports the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
"They're putting their lives on the line for us every day," Chris Ray, one of the initiative's founders, told the newspaper. "The least we can do is help them keep their car on the road or help them keep their house."
Support all summer long
Support for the military extends well beyond Memorial Day. From now until after Labor Day around 1,200 museums will waive admittance fees for military families as part of the ever-growing Blue Star Museums Initiative, which was launched in 2010 as a joint venture between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense.