DAYTON, Ohio — The Dayton Dragons will recognize Operation Cherrybend as a “Hometown Heroes” recipient during a special inning break of the Dragons game on Thursday, June 17 against the Fort Wayne TinCaps at Day Air Ballpark. The game will start at 7:05 p.m.
The Dayton Dragons shine the spotlight on the military, past and present, through the Hometown Heroes program. This program hosts military families at every Dragons game, recognizes outstanding military organizations and individuals and welcomes the newest members of the armed forces during special ceremonies.
Operation Cherrybend is a non-profit located in nearby Wilmington. Their mission is to thank veterans for their courage, selflessness, and sacrifice to our country. Through that, they also hope to educate the general public about the trials and challenges of wounded veterans and veterans in general.
Operation Cherrybend is made up of volunteers who are dedicated to supporting those veterans long after their uniform has come off. One of the most well-known, but painful statistics those volunteers understand is that every day, 22 veterans commit suicide. Over the years, more veterans have committed suicide than have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
Each year, Operation Cherrybend hosts a five-day, invite only event for combat veterans to bond with other veterans like them through music, outdoor adventure, and fellowship. The veterans participate in hunting, fishing, skydiving, and enjoy the support of Nashville musicians around the campfire who share their inspiration and music with them.
President of Operation Cherrybend, Beth Ellis, and her family open their farm each year for events to support these veterans and educate the general public about the trials and ongoing challenges they face.
“We are grateful to our sponsors and volunteers for helping us lead the charge in supporting our Veterans and bringing awareness to their daily struggles,” Ellis said.
This event is the second of five special Hometown Heroes spotlights at Dragons games this season. At each Hometown Heroes event, the Dragons pay tribute to all service men and women past and present. Presenting sponsors are the Dayton Development Coalition, Reynolds & Reynolds, and the Dayton Dragons.
Additional tributes are scheduled for July 7, August 1, and August 21 each focused on a different aspect or organization involved in the military.
For more information on the Hometown Heroes program, please visit https://www.milb.com/dayton/community/hometownheroes .