Chicago Cubs Visit Recruits, USO

Story Number: NNS110119-07Release Date: 1/19/2011 12:32:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class(SW) Thomas Miller, Navy Region Midwest Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Top leadership from Naval Station (NS) Great Lakes and Recruit Training Command joined forces with Great Lakes USO to host a visit of 12 Chicago Cubs players and staff to NS Great Lakes Jan. 13.

The Chicago "Cubs Caravan" visited NS Great Lakes to shake hands with Sailors and recruits. This is the second year that the Cubs have sponsored the Great Lakes USO's "No Dough Dinner."

The Cubs first visited two divisions at RTC, where they handed out baseball caps to 160 recruits.

"Anytime somebody from outside the Navy gets a chance to come see recruits, even if they have only been in the Navy six weeks, and tell them that they appreciate their service, it's a big win for us," said Bethke. "It doesn't matter if you have been in the Navy six weeks or 24 years - it's a big win for us."

"We travel to get every aspect of life going on this Caravan," said Mike Quade, Chicago Cubs manager. "We've been to the (Chicago) Board of Trade. We've been to schools, hospitals, and now here. People that know me know that the military has always had a special place in my heart and I know how important all those recruits and all the things you guys do. It was a great day and we are just happy we could be a part of their boot camp."

The annual Cubs Caravan is a two-day excursion of Cubs players and coaches to schools, neighborhoods and communities throughout Illinois and Northwest Indiana. NSGL was the last stop on the tour.

They next visited the Great Lakes USO where they handed a donation check for $1,200 to USO Great Lakes director Liz Kowalski and served chow to Sailors at the "No Dough" dinner. These dinners typically fall on the last business day before pay day and are designed to help Sailors who might struggle financially before pay day, as well as give them an alternative to eating in the galley for one night.

"We are delighted to have the Chicago Cubs organization here with us today partnering with our great friends from the USO of Illinois; it's wonderful for our Sailors here to have the opportunity to meet some of their sports heroes right here in our own back yard," said Malfitano.

Other Cubs players and staff visiting included Randy Bush, assistant general manager; Ivan DeJesus, third base coach; Sean Marshall, pitcher; James Russell, pitcher; Andrew Cashner, pitcher; and D.J. LeMahieu, minor league infielder.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Midwest/Naval Station Great Lakes, visit

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