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Washington Nationals Visit Epicenter > US Air Forces Central > View Articles

Washington Nationals Visit Epicenter > US Air Forces Central > View Articles

Washington Nationals Visit Epicenter > US Air Forces Central > View Articles



Former Washington Nationals players Adam Eaton and Doug Fister, team mascot Screech, and several team representatives visited the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing on July 3-4, 2024, to commemorate Independence Day.


Nationals explored several career fields at the facility, including static display tours of a KC-135 Stratotanker and a C-17 Globemaster III. They spent time with explosive ordnance disposal technicians from the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, participated in a military working dog demonstration with handlers from the 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron and joined a ride-along with firefighters from the 379th ECES.


During the visit, the Nationals invited an Airman from the 379th AEW to virtually throw out the first pitch, which was featured during their July 4 game in Washington, D.C. Additionally, the Airman’s family was invited to throw out their own pitch live at the stadium.


“It’s a surreal experience to be selected to throw out the first pitch for the Nationals,” the airman said. “So many hard-working men and women here at the epicenter are equally deserving, if not more so; I’m very grateful for the experience.”


To cap off the tour, service members from across the installation competed in the first-ever Air Force vs. Army softball game at the 379th AEW, with each team coached by one of the former national players. The Air Force came away with a landslide victory, defeating the Army 21-3.


“This was one of the best Air Force events I’ve ever been a part of,” said one of the Air Force players. “The Nationals organization, our Airmen and all of the Army and Air Force players, on the eve of Independence Day, reminded me how America’s pastime can still bring everyone together.”


The team hosted a Fourth of July celebration to conclude the visit and invited all members of the facility to a simulcast of their game, which will be played in Washington DC against the New York Mets. Former players and their mascot interacted with fans and offered complimentary tickets for family members who live near the nation’s capital.


“Being able to wish service members a happy Fourth of July in our country is something I’ve never done before,” Fister said. “It definitely puts things into perspective. The sacrifices they make day in and day out is something we can’t take for granted and it’s something we truly appreciate.”


The visit served as a heartfelt “thank you” from both the Washington Nationals and 379th AEW leadership for the hard work and dedication of the Airmen, as well as the joint and regional mission partners at the epicenter.


“It was an extraordinary way to celebrate our nation’s freedom,” said Brigadier General Richard Dickens, 379th AEW commander. “Giving our personnel the opportunity to take a knee and enjoy a little bit of home on the Fourth of July was incredible. We are grateful to the Washington Nationals organization for allowing these great events for our warfighters. Whether flying, repairing or providing support, we are incredibly proud of the work our service members do every day in support of our national interests.”