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Military service members share All-Star spotlight

July 17, 2018 - 9:21 am
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By: Brian Tinsman

More than 128,000 military personnel are located among Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, making the first ever All-Star celebration at Nationals Park the perfect venue to honor military veterans.

T-Mobile, TAPS and Major League Baseball led the way by surprising active duty members with tickets to the game and a chance to appear on the field for appreciation:

But more than just observing the festivities, veterans also got to try their hands at the spectacle with a special military home run derby between rounds of the MLB Home Run Derby.

Friday's All-Star Armed Services Home Run Challenge produced five winners (Naval Cryptologic Technician Russ Newbern, Army Staff Sergeant Jacob Hensal, Marine Corps First Sergeant Chris Maddox, Air Force Master Sergeant Matthew Campbell and Coast Guard Engineman Second Class Ken Glover), who swung for the fences on Monday.

"Words can't really describe it," Hensal said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance, especially for us in the military. To play alongside Major Leaguers doesn't really happen. Ever."

Credit MLB and its marketing partners with using the spotlight of the Home Run Derby to illuminate some of the heroes that walk among us every day.