Reds honor veterans on Memorial Day

Reds honor veterans on Memorial Day

CINCINNATI -- The Reds joined teams across baseball on Monday in a celebration of Memorial Day by wearing digital camouflage jerseys and hats to honor the men and women of America's armed forces.

"It's kind of the least we can do," right fielder Jay Bruce said. "We support the troops as much as we can and everyone who served and everyone who makes it possible for us to do this and make America as great as it is."

Pregame festivities were mostly dedicated to honoring people from different branches of the military.

Three members of the Tuskegee Airmen -- a group known for being the first African-American military pilots for the United States -- were recognized and received a standing ovation from the crowd at Great American Ball Park. Shortly after, U.S. Marine Gunnery SGT Samuel Deeds, who was injured by an improvised explosive device while serving in Iraq in 2005, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Following the national anthem, performed by U.S. Navy Second Class Petty Officer Nicholas Gagner, retired Lt. Col. Robert R. Adams delivered the game ball, and Marine Corps veteran Lincoln Ware joined manager Dusty Baker in exchanging lineup cards as Monday's honorary captain. As they've done in multiple games this season, the Reds also recognized a Hometown Hero in the middle of the second inning, with Monday's guest being U.S. Air Force Sr. Airman Nathan Reiser.

Men and women in military uniforms could be spotted throughout Great American Ball Park, and Bruce said he hoped the Reds could give them an enjoyable afternoon.

"Obviously, the team tries to do that for everyone," Bruce said. "But to be able to do it for them is very, very important to thank them for the things they have to go through in order to keep us safe."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.