The Royals and Budweiser salute a member of the military at games throughout the 2015 season.
Active duty and retired members of the United States Armed Forces are provided with complimentary tickets in the Budweiser seats on the first base side and recognized with a special in-game tribute.
Yeoman Second Class Petty Officer Bernadine Stanley enlisted in the United States Navy in 1943 and spent three years serving as part of the Navy Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service group. During her time, she served on the Admiral's Staff at the Naval Reserve Training Command Naval Air Station in Illinois with then-Lieutenant and future President Gerald Ford.
Following her service, she returned home to Kansas City where she and her husband raised ten children.
Master Sergeant Leigh Bellinger has served twenty years in the United States Air Force. Beginning his career with the American Forces Network in South Korea, he has worked as a radio and television broadcaster, traveling all over the world telling stories of men and women in the United States military.
Deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Kosovo, the decorated Master Sergeant is now serving as the superintendent of the McConnell Air Force Base public affairs office.
Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bennett began his military career at West Point and has since served 24 years in the United States Army. Throughout his service, he has done a variety of tasks all over the world including, three tours in Iraq, planning and executing various military strategies and missile strikes, and served as the Chief of Operations of the Army in Africa.
Recently, Lieutenant Colonel Bennett moved back to Kansas City and is now an instructor at the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.
Sergeant First Class Brad Burkhart joined the United States Army in 1995 as an Indirect Fireman and served two deployments in Kuwait with the 1st Calvary Division. Later, as a combat engineer, he served as a Platoon Sergeant for a Route Clearance and Counter IED platoon in Afghanistan.
The recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, Sergeant First Class Burkhart medically retired after injuries sustained in an I-E-D blast while in Afghanistan.
Captain John Thompson served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a B-17 Navigator during World War 2 and was assigned to the 94th Heavy Bomb Group, 8th Air Force in England. In April, 1944 his B-17 Flying Fortress crew was shot down over Berlin and he was taken as a prisoner of war and held at four camps. Over a year later, General Patton's third Army liberated John and his camp.
Specialist Zachary Jacobs has served in the United States Army Reserve for six years. Deployed twice, he served as a Motor Transport Operator, driving over 30,000 miles throughout Iraq and later a Horizontal Constructions Engineer in charge of the deconstruction of military bases in Afghanistan.
Recently, the Army Commendation Medal recipient re-enlisted for six more years in the Reserve.
Sergeant Chris Stergos served in the United States Marines for five years and specialized as an Intelligence Specialist and Small Arms Range Instructor. Deployed three times, Sergeant Stergos served with the 2nd Intelligence Battalion twice in Iraq, and as a part of a Joint Task Force on a counter-terrorism mission in the Horn of Africa.
The decorated veteran left the military in 2005 and is now very active with local military groups including the VFW Post 7397 and Team Red, White, and Blue.
Major Jason Sigler graduated from West Point in 2001 and was commissioned in the Armor Branch. Deployed three times, he served as a tank platoon leader in Iraq in 2003, a Force Generation Planner in 2004, and while in Afghanistan in 2010, took command of Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1-38 Cavalry Regiment.
The recipient of many awards including the Bronze Star with "V" device and Bronze Star with One Oak Leaf Cluster, he now attends the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Davis enlisted in the United States Army as a Construction Equipment Repairer in June 1999 and was commissioned as an officer in 2008. Throughout his service he has been stationed all over the United States and has been deployed three times to Afghanistan and once to Iraq where he was in charge of a convoy security team that would run security for convoys throughout Iraq.
The highly decorated soldier and his family recently moved back home to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Marciano Galarza has served in the United States Army for 20 years. A logistical officer for the 1st Sustainment Brigade out of Fort Riley, Kansas, he has deployed six total times with individual deployments to Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and three to Iraq.
Highly decorated, Chief Warrant Officer Galarza has received many awards including the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal.
Sergeant William Barber has served in the Missouri Army National Guard for eight years. Specializing as a Motor Transport Operator and Petroleum Supply Specialist, Sergeant Barber has been deployed twice, once to Kosovo and most recently to Afghanistan.
The decorated veteran is currently serving as an RSP Coordinator for the Missouri Army National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program.
Major Darius Ervin has served in the Army for sixteen years in military intelligence. Deployed twice, he is the recipient of the Bronze Star. His wife, Captain Dana Ervin also served in the Army for six years and deployed once in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
They are here today with their daughter and girl scout, Olivia.
Captain Ben Brock served in the United States Army for five years and specialized in logistics. Deployed twice to Afghanistan, he served as a Transportation Platoon Leader on convoy logistics patrols and led a High Risk Personnel Security Team for their brigade.
For his service, Captain Brock received the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Army Commendation Medal.
Sergeant Cale Swarnes served as an Infantryman for the 101st Airborne Division for eight years. Deployed to Iraq multiple times, he served as a Humvee driver, .50 cal gunner, and truck commander on over 750 combat missions. The recipient of two Purple Hearts for wounds received in combat, he is now medically retired and attending school to become an elementary teacher.
Staff Sergeant Oscar Fillpot served twenty-five years in the United States Army and National Guard and specialized in Mechanized Field Artillery. Throughout his service, he deployed once and served three years in military intelligence.
Honorably discharged, Staff Sergeant Fillpot received numerous awards including Meritorious Service Award and Desert Storm Service.
First Sergeant Amber Kash served in the United States Marines Corp for twenty years in a variety of positions all over the world. Deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, First Sergeant Kash served as the Casualty Officer overseeing all Marines who were killed in action and ensured their personal belongings returned safely to their families.
Before retiring in 2012, the decorated veteran served in New York City where she conducted over 650 funerals for active duty Marines who were killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan and honorably discharged veterans.
Sergeant Galen Cook served in the United States Army as a rifleman with the Sunset Infantry Division in the Pacific Theatre. The recipient of the SharpShooter Medal and Bronze Star, he participated in the re-taking of the Philippine Islands, the initial landing in New Guinea, and was a Military Policeman with the United States Army Occupation Force.
Following the war, Sergeant Cook married his wife of sixty-four years and raised their family on their cattle farm.
Master Sergeant Chris Steger entered the United States Air Force in 1990 and served as a Fuels Airman. Deployed many times in support of various operations, he was under constant threat of rocket and mortar attacks while serving at Balad Air Base in Iraq, where he directed the delivery of 15 millin gallons of aviation fule to over 12,000 sorties.
In October of 2014, the highly decorated veteran retired as the Fuels Operations Superintendant at Whiteman Air Force Base.
Colonel Samuel White III has served in the United States Air Force for twenty-three years as a bomber pilot. Commissioned through the United States Air Force in 1992, he participated in the first combat deployment of the B-2 Stealth as a member of the 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Previously deployed in support of the Continuous Bomber Presense Mission, the decorated Colonel will go to Guam to serve as their Operations Group Commander.
Major Nanci Higginbotham joined the US Army Corp of Engineers in 1979 and served in construction, combat support, and training assignments in Germany during the end of the Cold War. During the second half of her career, she served as a program and project manager in military construction, civil works, and environmental restoration programs in Philadelphia and Kansas City. Major Higginbotham retired in 1996, but currently works as a civilian project manager in the Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District in the Environmental Restoration program.
Petty Officer Second Class Nathan Buss served in the United States Navy from 2003-2007 as a Gunner's Mate. While on board the USS Shreveport, Petty Officer Buss was responsible for maintaining the ship's crew served weapons, conducted small arms training, and was a member of the âVessel Boarding Search and Seizure Teamâ which chased pirates off the coast of Somalia. The decorated veteran and leukemia survivor also took part in the Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Effort in which he earned the Humanitarian Service Medal.
Sergeant First Class Dustin Wells served sixteen years in the United States Army and Missouri Army National Guard. Deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was an infantryman and was responsible for combat and presence patrol while also training the Iraqi Army. Later deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Sergeant First Class Wells was a Brigade Lethal Fire support NCO. Currently, the Bronze Star recipient is a recruiting and retention NCO for the Missouri Army National Guard.
Staff Sergeant Loren Bonneau served in the US Air Corps during World War 2, from 1944 to 1946. As a radio operator mechanic on B-29s, Staff Sergeant Bonneau and his crew were stationed on the Tinian and Mariana Islands and flew missions over Japan. Following the war, the decorated veteran became a teacher, principal, and superintendent of area schools.
Lieutenant Colonel Cynthia Patton served over twenty-five years of service on active duty and in the Reserves. Deployed during Operation Enduring Freedom, she served as the Theater Database Manager for Third Army, and also worked as a Defense Contractor in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The decorated veteran is now the owner and President of Patton Leadership Consulting which provides training and leadership development to members of the Army.
Brigadier General Stan Cherrie served in the United States Army for over 30 years, primarily in armored Combat Arms units as a commander or staff officer. Deployed four times throughout his career, he served in Viet Nam twice as an armed helicopter platoon leader and ground cavalry troop leader, and later served in Bosnia and Southwest Asia in support of Operation Desert Storm.
The recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, and the Purple Heart, Brigadier General Cherrie retired in Leavenworth in 1998.
Master Sergeant David Velasquez serves as a Loadmaster on a C-130 cargo plane with the Missouri Air National Guard. He has deployed multiple times to Afghanistan where his unit conducted air-drop missions and Aero-Medical Evacuations of wounded service members.
The decorated first responder has also flown missions in support of humanitarian efforts such as the Haiti earthquake, overseas NATO training operations, and has supported special operations and Airborne unit training missions.
Enlisting in the United States Army in 1977, First Sergeant Isaiah Coleman served twenty-two years of active duty service as a rifleman and intelligence analyst. After retiring in 1999, First Sergeant Coleman deployed to Iraq three times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and three times to Afghanistan in support of the International Security Assistance Force as a Senior Intelligence Analyst.
The Lincoln, Nebraska native has received numerous awards including the Legion of Merit award and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
Chief Warrant Officer Jeffrey Hamilton has served in the United States Army for 13 years and currently serves as a 150-U Unmanned Aircraft Systems Platoon Leader and Operations Technician. Throughout his military career, Chief Warrant Officer Hamilton has been stationed all over the world and deployed once to Afghanistan and four times to Iraq, most recently returning from his last deployment on March 7 of this year.
Highly decorated, the Junction City native has received the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Fireman First Class Daryl Ford served in the United States Navy on the USS Sierra during World War 2. While stationed in the Phillipines in the Pacific theater, Daryl and his shipmates would repair other destroyers that were damaged from battle.
Following the war, Fireman First Class Ford was a postmaster in Valley Falls, Kansas for thirty years and heavily involved in his community.
Lance Corporal Justin Love has served over three years in the United States Marines Corp. A landing Support Specialist, he has been deployed to South Korea in support of their defense. Recently, Lance Corporal Love returned from the Middle East where he served in a Major General command and helped aid Jordanian defense.
After finishing his degree in Criminal Justice, he hopes to become a Marine Corps Officer.
Corporal Calvin Harms served in the United States Army Air Force during World War II. Stationed in Guam as a part of the 457th Bombardment Squadron and 330th Bombardment Group, he was a munitions worker specializing as an aviation ordinance man, responsible for the maintenance of bombs, guns, and other ammunition on a B-29 bomber outfit.
Following the war, the Lexington, Missouri resident returned home where he was married and raised three children while working as a farmer.
Colonel John Silverstein served in the United States Army for twenty-seven years and has deployed all over the world including trips to Bosnia, Kosovo, Korea, Kuwait, and multiple combat tours in Iraq. For the last four years, he served as the Chief of Operations Group Sierra, Mission Command Training Program at Fort Leavenworth, traveling to military locations worldwide training senior military organizations for combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Recently retired, Colonel Silverstein is the recipient of the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, and the Purple Heart for combat injuries sustained in Iraq.
Major Avonne Rosario has served in the United States Air Force in Security Forces since 2001. An integral part of the US drawdown from Iraq in 2011, the Kansas City, Kansas native was hand-selected to be the Antiterrorism Advisor to a 2-star general and was responsible for the protection of more than 20,000 service men and women engaged in combat and stability operations.
Also during her time in Iraq, she received high praise from the Department of State and American and Iraqi commanders for her exceptional vision and leadership of Iraqi Kids Day which provided vital outreach to more than 130 local Iraqi children.
Petty Officer Robbie Wildhaber was a builder with the United States Navy Fighting Seabees. During his time with the Seabees, he was a part of Operation Joint Guard in Bosnia and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. The decorated military man has also spent time serving in Guam, Rota Spain, Turkey, and Kuwait.
In October, Petty Officer Wildhaber will be retiring after 20 years of honorable service.
At seventeen, Specialist Christina Keener joined the United States Kansas Army National Guard as a Combat Medic and Healthcare Specialist. Serving with two units during her career, in 2003 Specialist Keener volunteered to deploy to Bosnia with the 1-108th Aviation Battalion Blackhawk unit where she participated in free clinics held in public schools for Bosnians with no health insurance and supplied much needed schools supplies and repairs to schools.
In 2011, the Overland Park native left the Kansas Army National Guard to focus on raising her daughters and go back to school to become a Registered Nurse.
First Lieutenant William Davis joined the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. As a navigator on a B-17, Bill was shot down by enemy fire over Germany in 1943 and was prisoner of war for nearly two years before being liberated by General Patton's forces.
Following the war, First Lieutenant Davis, who recently turned ninety-five years old, returned to the states where he started his career as a telegrapher with the Rock Island Railroad and earned a degree in Communication Studies from UMKC.
Sergeant Dusin Johns served in the Marine Corps for seven years with deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Pacific. In 2011, while serving as an E-O-D Technician clearing an area of explosive hazards in Sangin Valley, Afghanistan, he stepped on an IED, which resulted in the traumatic amputation of both legs, two fingers on his right hand, and a traumatic brain injury. After multiple life-saving surgeries, and weeks of intensive therapies, Dustin, with the support of his wife Melissa, gruelingly learned how to walk with prosthetics.
Medically retired in December of 2012, he and his family reside in Grain Valley, while he attends school full-time at the University of Central Missouri with plans to get a degree in Design and Drafting.
Sergeant Robert Holder served in the Army Reserve for six years. A chinook mechanic, he served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. While there, the decorated veteran performed scheduled and unscheduled Aircraft maintenance keeping Aircraft fully mission operational, and manned a fighting position and pulled security on local nationals on Forward Operating Base Salerno.
First Sergeant Jason Miller enlisted in the United States Army in May of 1996 as a combat engineer. Stationed all over the country he served with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg for over a decade and became a jumpmaster. Throughout his nineteen years of service, First Sergeant Miller has won many awards and traveled all over the world including three tours in Iraq and two to Afghanistan.
The veteran is currently stationed at Fort Hood where he lives with his wife and five children.
Major Travis Higginbotham served in the US Army Corps of Engineers for twenty years. Throughout his career, he served in multiple leadership positions, and after being promoted to Major, he served as Facilities Engineer with Fort Dix, New Jersey, and did an unaccompanied tour in Korea as a Brigade Engineer plnning combat engineer support for a four thousand man first brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
Before retiring in 1996, Major Higginbotham's final assignment was with the Kansas City District Corps of Engineers, playing a major role in their response to the 1993, 1994, and 1995 floods that devastated the Missouri River Valley.
Colonel Charles Blaschke III, enlisted in the United States Navy in 1971 and served on a Destroyer and Nuclear Power Submarine in the Republic of Vietnam. Later commissioned in the United States Army National Guard, he deployed to Iraq twice, first as a Master Planner and Base Engineer in Balad, Iraq in 2005 and as the Deputy Base Garrison Commander of Victory Base Complex in Baghdad in 2008.
The recipient of the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star, Colonel Blaschke retired from the U.S. Army Reserves in 2013 after a combined active and reserve time of forty-one and a half years of service.
Sergeant Paul Warner served in the United States Marine Corps for four years of active duty. As a 1371 combat engineer, he deployed to Iraq in 2003 with Task Force Tarawa and was responsible for route clearance and IED disposal.
The decorated Topeka, Kansas native's awards include the Combat Action Ribbon and the Presidential Unit Citation.
Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Krakar graduated from West Point in 1990 and was commissioned in the Infantry. Deployed five times, once each to Somalia and Iraq and three times to Afghanistan, he served in positions ranging from Company Executive Officer to Counterinsurgency Advisor for the Commanding General.
Currently, the Bronze Star recipient, is in the Army Reserve assigned to United States Special Operations Command.
Staff Sergeant Clifford Kerns served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1945. Stationed in Europe, he served as a balltur gunner on a B-17 flying 33 missions across Central Europe, Ardennes, and Rhineland.
Following the war, he was honorably discharged and returned to St. Joseph, Missouri where he was a residential home builder.
Sergeant Mike Peterson served over twenty years in the 2-137th Infantry in the Kansas Army National Guard. Deployed three times to Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Iraq, Sergeant Peterson served as the battalion commander's personal security detail in the infantry battalion.
Retired in 2009, he is now volunteering with the VFW and is the commander of Post 7397 in Lenexa, Kansas.
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