The Texas Rangers organization’s continued support of U.S. Veterans was once again on display Tuesday, June 23, prior to the Oakland A’s – Texas Rangers baseball game as they honored three Wheelchair Veterans taking part in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Dallas.
Gold Medalists winners Robbie Green, Mike Savicki and Eric Scot Poehler made their way into the stadium from the left field foul line as the more than 35,000 fans in the stadium gave them a standing ovation, including players from both clubs who stood on the steps of the dugout applauding the athletes.
While the three wheelchair Veterans made their way to the area behind home plate, the stadium’s jumbotron showed a video of the wheelchair games displaying the amazing athleticism of all the games participants.
Waiting for them was Rangers coach Bobby Jones, a Vietnam Veteran and Bronze Star recipient. Jones placed the medal over their head and then rendered to each winner the military salute.
“It was a privilege and honor to do this,” Jones said afterwards.
“Participants in these games have overcome numerous obstacles and challenges and demonstrate tremendous courage and athleticism. These amazing individuals believe that character, not circumstances, defines the person. They are an inspiration to many of us as they persevere to do the best they can which is the true mark of a real champion,” stadium public address announcer Chuck Morgan said over the loudspeaker.
Green, a Fort Worth native, was glad to receive the recognition in front of his home team. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1971-1995. He won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m track events.
Savicki is from Cornelius, N.C. and served in the U.S. Navy from 1986-1990. He won five gold medals in track events.
Poehler is from Eagan, Minn. and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1986 – 1972. He won the gold medal in the shot put.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Jim Knoxx, Fox Sports Southwest reporter, interviewed all three Veterans about the awards and recognition they received prior to the game. Knoxx also encouraged the viewing audience to attend come to the wheelchair games and “support these remarkable athletes.”
Ove the years the Rangers organization has built a strong relationship with the local military and Veteran community. That strong relationship has brought about a long and rich history of the team of honoring America’s Veterans and active duty personnel.
“It is a form of us giving back to those who have given so much,” said Morgan, the son of a World War II Veteran. “It also gives fans the opportunity to feel pride in our country and show their appreciation and show their appreciation to those who have served.”
That was evident at the Rangers stadium Tuesday night.
This article was written by Ozzie Garza, Director of the Office of Public Affairs regional office in Dallas, Texas.