Veterans appreciated during local NBA game
By Senior Airman Shawn Nickel, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 13, 2012
BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The Sacramento Kings professional basketball team hosted a military appreciation night during a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif., Nov. 9, 2012.
Two Airmen from the 940th Civil Engineer Squadron reserve unit were highlighted during the event.
Master Sgt. Pedro Villa was awarded the Purple Heart, and Tech. Sgt. Derek Miller was awarded the Combat Action Medal for duty during Operation Enduring freedom while deployed to Afghanistan earlier this year.
"It was important to recognize these Airmen in front of the local community," said Col. Kevin Cavanagh, 940th Wing commander, who presented the medals. "Being at war for so long, people can become desensitized, and this shows them we are still out there with boots on the ground getting the job done."
Cavanagh also conducted the Oath of Enlistment bringing nine new Airmen into his reserve unit.
"I'm ready to be part of this great organization," said Jessica Stout, a local Olivehurst resident and mother of three. "I want to be able to tell my children I did something for our county."
During the opening ceremonies, two Travis Air Force Base Airmen rappelled from the rafters with the game ball while one of their fellow Airmen sang the National Anthem. Throughout the game, military members in the crowd were highlighted on camera and thanked for their service.
Although the Kings were defeated by the Spurs, 97-86, the players said they were humbled by the opportunity to honor the armed forces.
"I know I speak for everybody else when I say without the military there would be no freedom to play basketball," said James Johnson, Kings forward. "I just want to thank you for all the work you put in. It's brave for you all to put that work in and support us, so we're glad we can support you."