Military Kids Hit Home Run at Nationals Tribute

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2009 - Military children and their families were honored here yesterday by a troop-support group and others when the Washington Nationals took on the New York Mets.

The Nationals beat the Mets 4-0, but the kids were the winners, as well, at the Nationals' annual Tribute to Our Troops event. Our Military Kids, a Virginia-based troop-support group, along with WTOP Radio and's Mission Get Hired participated in the event, which included 1,500 free tickets distributed to Washington, D.C.-area military families through the Our Military Kids office, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and WJLA, a local television station.

"We are thrilled that selected Our Military Kids as their charity of choice, said Gail C. Kruzel, co-founder of Our Military Kids. We are always looking for ways to create awareness about our program."

This was the first time Our Military Kids participated in the event, in which 10,000 fans received free T-shirts, courtesy of Mission Get Hired.

"Our mission is to be a great resource for U.S. veterans to find employers and educators that value their military background," said Inga Salavage, of "Our Web site provides pertinent information and tools for veterans to be successful in their new career search."

A series of promotional Mission Get Hired ads ran in the Washington area leading up to yesterday's game.

During the pre-game festivities, WJLA meteorologist Doug Hill and WTOP's Jeffery Wolinsky presented a $5,000 check to Our Military Kids on behalf of the sponsors and Mission Get Hired.

"This money will be used by Our Military Kids to provide grants that cover sports, fine arts and tutoring programs for the children of our deployed reserve and National Guard forces and to the children of our severely injured military members," Kruzel said.

At the start of the game, 14-year-old Riley Anderson of Ashburn, Va., an Our Military Kids grant recipient, threw out the game's ceremonial first pitch. Anderson, whose father is deployed, received a grant to cover fees to participate on his local baseball team this summer.

"I am excited to be here," Riley said. "I am also excited about my grant award. I think events like this help kids enjoy family time."

*Related Sites:*
Our Military Kids  [ ]
Military Kids Hit Home Run at Nationals Tribute  [ ]