SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- In an effort to thank service members and their families, the San Diego Padres Foundation and USAA hosted a baseball clinic for military children at Petco Park, Aug. 22.
Approximately 100 of the children participating in the clinic have parents serving aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The clinic was designed to teach the children teamwork, agility, fielding, batting and pitching.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the kids to come out here and be able to play in this sort of venue. And for the Padres to be able to give back to the community and allow the military kids to come out and participate here is awesome,” said Lt. Col. Ned Biehl, from Carlsbad, Calif., whose son, Tucker, participated in the clinic.
The baseball clinic launched in 2012 to recognize military families for the sacrifices they make.
“It’s really just an opportunity to give these kids whose parents are deployed or are getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan and other parts of the world, the opportunity to stand down and get appreciated for the sacrifices they make,” said Eric Page, a USAA military affairs representative for Southern California. “We wanted to provide something that would be special for the kids to meet with their heroes so the idea was to give back more to the community and get the families involved, and I thought today’s turnout was really awesome.”
For the children, the baseball clinic was a memorable experience.
“It was awesome I got to meet some players and get their autographs,” said Andrea Ramos, whose father is Staff Sgt. Jose Ramos, a radio chief with Marine Air Support Squadron 3, from Oceanside, Calif.