MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — On Friday, the Mechanicsburg Wildcats took the field against the East Pennsboro Panthers for their annual Salute to Service game. The game honors those who serve our country.
“People want to come out and thank and honor the veterans, so it’s always a success," said Beth Lehr, president of the Mechanicsburg Football Booster Club.
“It’s great for us to be able to come together as a community and give back and recognize [veterans] for their accomplishments and achievements," said Anthony Rose, head coach of the Mechanicsburg High School Football team.
The event included a commemorative coin toss and veteran testimonies at halftime. The Mechanicsburg football boosters also presented a check to the Wounded Warriors Umpire Academy.
“Getting the thanks from the students themselves is more than fulfilling," said Bill Bruce with the Wounded Warriors Umpire Academy. "But to have the community reach out and do this after the fact, that’s just icing on the cake.”
The organization dedicates itself to teaching wounded vets how to be umpires. It also provides veterans with a sense of community after coming home.
“This Academy gives back to us," said veteran Eugene Deimler. "You go through it, you build a cohesion with the guys that you’re there with, and it’s like being back in the military, honestly.”
Regardless of the outcome on the field, the game gave players and community members alike a chance to thank the nation’s heroes.
“People are here for the veterans and it’s awesome to see," said Deimler.
“It’s great to see everyone here together. We hope to put on a good show to honor them by helping us out tonight," said Coach Rose.