BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- A Sailor from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) helped kickoff the baseball team Kitsap Bluejackets' military appreciation night at the Kitsap Fairgrounds in Bremerton June 15.
As part of the pre-game festivities, Aviation Electrician's Mate (AW/SW) Senior Chief Gregory Sterling, who recently returned from an individual augmentee (IA) assignment in Iraq, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
"It was a great honor to be out there on the mound," Sterling said. "Most of us that come back from an IA aren't even thought of except by those that we serve with, so to be thought of by those that we effectively serve as deserving some type of recognition makes it worthwhile."
The Bluejackets are made up of college athletes and are part of the West Coast League. The West Coast League is a summer league made up of eight teams from the states of Washington and Oregon.
"The great thing about the Bluejackets is that it has a minor league feel to it, but with amateur players," Kitsap Bluejackets General Manager Rick Smith said. "It is a very festive atmosphere when the game gets going. The fans get into the game, and everyone has a good time."
The Bluejackets are averaging about 750 to 800 people a game so far this season. Located on the Kitsap Peninsula, it is convenient to all the local Naval bases.
This was the first of three scheduled military appreciation nights that the Bluejackets are hosting to thank the many service members that live on the Kitsap Peninsula.
"This is an activity that doesn't involve a lengthy commute to either Seattle or Tacoma," said Smith. "It is a wonderful place to enjoy a day for both Sailors and families."
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.