Mid Missouri Credit Union (Fort Leonard Wood) hosted its 9th Annual Military Appreciation Day, as well as celebrated the Army’s 239th Birthday, at Hammons Field in Springfield on June 14, 2014. Prior to the event the credit union raised more than $20,500 through various fundraising events and with the help of many surrounding community businesses and credit unions. With the money raised, Mid Missouri Credit Union purchased more than 2,000 tickets, which were given out free of charge to active duty personnel, reservists, veterans, National Guard, retired military of all branches, and their immediate family members. Along with each ticket came a free hot dog voucher and a free Springfield Cardinals coin.
Honorary first pitches were thrown by special guests Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, Command Sgt. Maj. Terrence Murphy, Soldier of the Year, Spc. Joshua Roberts, Johnny O’Hare, president/CEO of Mid Missouri Credit Union and Jim Woods, chairman of Mid Missouri Credit Union Board of Directors. The 399th Army Band played the National Anthem while the Joint Service Color Guard presented the nation’s colors.
During the pre-game ceremonies, the Oath of Enlistment took place, which was administered by Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith. More than 40 enlistees took the field and were sworn in to the United States Army. The field was then taken by the Joint Service Color Guard while the 399th Army Band played the National Anthem. Shortly after, the game between the Springfield Cardinals and the NW Arkansas Naturals began.
Throughout the night Mid Missouri Credit Union employees threw out shirts, handed out various giveaways and gave out VIP tickets to eager groups of soldiers. The night concluded with a major fireworks display sponsored by the credit union. This was the largest Military Appreciation Day Mid Missouri Credit Union has hosted; more than 7,500 people were in the stands. The perfect weather made it a great night for some good American baseball and honoring our military.
Caption: Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith swears in more than 40 enlistees prior to the Springfield Cardinals game.