A Behind the Bomber Salute to our Armed Forces. In this case it features BTB's own
Thank you Bernie and the guys for protecting our freedom.
Photo Taken By Knuckles
by Airman 1st Class Matt Donegan
305th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
10/24/01 - MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, N.J. (AFPN) -- More than 100 airmen from here took to the field at the Yankee Stadium on Oct. 21 during game four of the nationally televised American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners.
The base Honor Guard was there to present the colors, while some airmen unfurled a flag the size of a basketball court during the singing of the national anthem. Others lined the outfield wall saluting.
The Yankees organization asked the airmen to be guests at the game and participate in the pre-game ceremony.
George Steinbrenner, an Air Force retiree and Yankees owner since 1973, continues his admiration for the Air Force by continuously giving back, said Brig. Gen. Chip Diehl, director of Air Force marketing.
"Something like this puts the Air Force in the public eye, showcases our great professionals in uniform and allows us to continue to unite with New York and evolve from the tragedies of Sept. 11," Diehl said.
Originally, Air Force people were going to be honored during a game toward the end of the regular season, but Sept. 11 changed that. Instead, they got to go to an ALCS game.
"It was an absolute dream come true to walk on this field during the playoffs -- nothing compares to it," said Tech. Sgt. Bernard McGuinness, a loyal Yankees fan from the 305th Communications Squadron.
McGuinness still remembers the seats he sat at during his first ball game back in 1977 - a game his father took him to for his birthday.
"That's just part of being a fan," he said. "You remember who won, where you sat, who pitched ..."
Chief Master Sgt. Peter O'Shaughnessy, 305th Operations Support Squadron radar approach control chief controller said he shares McGuinness' love of baseball.
"Going on the field was one of my personal life highlights," said O'Shaughnessy, a Bronx native who spent many summer afternoons at the stadium while growing up. "I knew this would be something special, but I have to say it turned out to be much more than that. I never expected the ovation we received when the stadium announcer said members of the U.S. Air Force from McGuire were participating in the opening ceremonies -- it sent chills down my spine. It was a day I'll never forget."
After the game, while walking under the bleachers toward the exit, roaring chants of "let's go Yankees" were replaced by "let's go Air Force" as New Yorkers showed their support.
Outside the stadium, hundreds of people shook hands and exchanged "high fives" and "thank yous" with the Air Force troops. Some even asked if they could get their pictures taken with the troops.
"This is what I expected when I joined the Air Force," Senior Airman Nicole Ullman said. "I wish I had this feeling every day." (Courtesy of Air Mobility Command News Service)
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