The U.S. Military Baseball All-Stars came to my neck of the woods in late June to play a little ball and spread some goodwill.

And while they lost a close game to our hometown boys (The Leesburg Lightning, whose pitcher’s got one HECK of an arm) they showed us all what dedication and perserverance can do for a country.

90% of the U.S. Military All-Stars have served at least one tour in Iraq or Afghanistan.  The yellow ‘S’ on their uniforms is meant to signify the yellow ribbon of support that regular citizens like you and I might display.

 Now, I’m not a huge baseball fan.  In fact, I would usually say that it’s a poor excuse to eat a hotdog, but this game was different.

The pre-game ceremonies were more meaningful, as the presentation of the colors and the singing of the national anthem went from just another opportunity to hear someone either do the song justice or destroy it, to a time to mediate upon the sacrifices and hardships these young men (and many others like them) endure on our behalf.

Equally impressive, the all-star team accepts no government or military funding.  They accept donations and get private sponsorships because they want all gov’t and military funds to go toward protecting men and women in combat.

And while I don’t need to be reminded why I admire our soldiers, I’m glad I got to be there for this one.