O’s announce 2013 military appreciation efforts

With Memorial Day Weekend approaching, the Orioles are proud to announce their efforts to honor members of our armed forces. The club is fortunate to be surrounded by dedicated military personnel throughout the region, and grateful for all of those who risk their lives each day for our country. Again this season, the club is offering a variety of season-long programs and special days that offer support for and recognition of military members and their families.


* TICKET DISCOUNTS AT EVERY GAME - The Orioles extend a $3 discount off all tickets for all military (active, retired and reserve) and their families, available at the Oriole Park Box Office. Even more significant discounts for military members can be arranged by contacting their ITT/Leisure Travel office.

* MILITARY SUNDAYS - For every non-prime Sunday home game, members of the military (active, retired and reserve) can purchase Buy One, Get One Free tickets in select seating sections through their ITT/Leisure Travel office.

* ACTIVE DUTY SPECIAL OFFER - All Active Duty Personnel are encouraged to show their active duty ID badge to receive a complimentary Orioles cap, featuring a camouflage “O,” at the Fan Assistance Center in the Warehouse at any home game.

* SUNDAY SUITE PROGRAM presented by GEICO - Every Sunday home game, the Orioles, in partnership with GEICO, will donate a catered private suite to wounded soldiers and other active duty and veteran military groups and their families. Guests will also be treated to a special player meet and greet before the game, recognition after the playing of “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch and will receive Orioles player t-shirts courtesy of Under Armour. Participating players include Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Jim Johnson, Nick Markakis, Brian Matusz, Darren O’Day, Chris Tillman and Matt Wieters. Participating groups in 2013 include United Services Organizations, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Department of Veteran Affairs, Fort Meade, Luke’s Wings, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

* WELCOME HOME SCOREBOARD MESSAGES - The Orioles are proud to offer free “Welcome Home” messages on Oriole Park’s centerfield video board for all active military personnel returning home from duty. To find out more information, or to reserve a message for an upcoming game, call 888-848-BIRD.

* NEW in 2013! MILITARY REENLISTMENTS - The Orioles welcome members of the military who wish to hold their reenlistment ceremony at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Interested parties should contact Orioles Tours at 888-848-BIRD or tours@orioles.com for information on scheduling a military reenlistment ceremony.


Welcomebackveterans.org was created to help our brave servicemen and servicewomen successfully transition back to civilian life. On Memorial Day, Independence Day and September 11, the Orioles and other Major League Baseball clubs will support this campaign through various promotional efforts. To date, with support from all 30 clubs, MLB has donated more than $10 million to welcomebackveterans.org, including funds raised from auctions of licensed products and the donation of sales from Stars and Stripes logoed caps.

On Memorial Day, May 27, when the Orioles take on the Nationals in Washington, all Orioles uniformed personnel will wear digicamo patterned caps featuring the cartoon bird. Fans can also purchase these caps at www.orioles.com/shop or in the Orioles Official Team Stores at Oriole Park or at the York Galleria, with a portion of the proceeds going to welcomebackveterans.org.


Also on Memorial Day, all Orioles uniformed personnel will wear a special road jersey that features the digicamo pattern designed into the twill (Baltimore script, name, number). These jerseys, which will be autographed and authenticated, will be auctioned on www.orioles.com beginning May 27 at 1:00 p.m. through June 2 at midnight, with proceeds going to the Yellow Ribbon Fund to benefit patients at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Information on the Yellow Ribbon Fund is available at www.yellowribbonfund.org.


On May 28, Orioles players, coaches and their wives will visit with injured soldiers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Walter Reed is the Nation’s Medical Center, proudly serving military beneficiaries in the Washington, D.C. area as well as those from across the country and around the globe.


The Orioles will help celebrate Flag Day and the Army’s Birthday on Friday, June 14. Pre-game ceremonies will include a swearing-in ceremony for future Army members; a first pitch that includes veterans from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the current conflict in Afghanistan; color presentation by the U.S. Army, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and a vocalist from the US Army Field Band performing the National Anthem. In addition, nine soldiers from Fort Meade, the Nation’s Preeminent Center for information, intelligence and cyber security will take the field with Orioles players for the National Anthem.

Orioles uniformed personnel will wear a special home jersey that will have the digicamo pattern designed into the twill (Orioles script, name, number). These jerseys, which will be autographed and authenticated, will be auctioned online at www.orioles.com beginning June 14 at 7:00 pm through June 21 at midnight, with proceeds to benefit the Fort Meade Alliance Resiliency Center Fund. The Fort Meade Alliance is an independent community organization designed to promote the well-being of the region. The Alliance’s foundation is undertaking a fundraising effort to support resiliency programs for military, civilians, and their families at Ft. Meade

The Orioles will donate 100 tickets to Fort Meade to bring military members to that night’s game. And the first 10,000 fans 15 and over attending the game will receive an Orioles Military Appreciation Shirt, presented by GEICO. The shirt features the cartoon bird in the same digicamo print that the team will wear on their jerseys.


In conjunction with Major League Baseball and PEOPLE Magazine, one veteran will be selected to represent the Orioles at the 2013 MLB All-Star Game as part of the PEOPLE Magazine Tribute for Heroes program. The veteran will be selected from entries received online. Those selected have achieved extraordinary military, community service, personal and professional accomplishments.


The Orioles will donate 500 tickets (6,500 total) to every Sunday home game to military members in conjunction with Fort Meade as part of the Players Give Back program. In addition, more than 200 tickets have been donated to the following military groups so far in 2013: Navy Veteran Affairs, The Air Force, The American Flag Foundation, The US Army Reserve, MCVETS, and numerous military families.


New this season, Darren O’Day and Chris Davis will make a donation based on their on-field performance to Luke’s Wings, a non-profit military organization dedicated to the support of current and former service members who have been wounded in battle. O’Day will donate $40 for every batter he strikes out, and Davis will donate $100 for every home run he hits to the cause.

Luke’s Wings provides families with the means to visit injured service members during their hospitalization and rehabilitation. By purchasing travel agency services and travel tickets for loved ones, Luke’s Wings provides an immediate and invaluable service to the families of our men and women at arms while also helping to encourage and motivate the service member’s recovery or provide comfort during the final stages of life. Luke’s Wings also partners with other non-profits who can provide other free or discounted services, including accommodations, meals and local entertainment.