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Padres Military Salute Sundays to begin with Military Opening Day

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres today announced the complete line-up of events surrounding Military Opening Day presented by Northrop Grumman, this Sunday, April 13, which officially begins a full season of Sunday military salutes.

Pregame ceremonies for Military Opening Day will include an on-field recognition of more than 200 service members representing all branches of the Armed Services lining the base paths, as well as the 50 State Flag Team from Marine Corps Recruit Depot.

Also being recognized on Sunday is actor/humanitarian Gary Sinise, whose Gary Sinise Foundation (www.garysinisefoundation.org) is in the process of building two Smart Homes in San Diego for wounded veterans Nick Kimmel and Jason Ross who will accompany Sinise for opening day along with wounded veteran Jerral Hancock from Lancaster who will also be a Smart Home recipient through a partnership between the Gary Sinise Foundation and Operation All the Way Home. The Smart Home building project helps severely wounded soldiers and veterans lead more independent lives and is a part of the Foundation's R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment). Each home is customized to ease their daily challenges with features like retractable cook tops, cabinets and shelving, elevators and more, all accessible via an iPad. The Gary Sinise Foundation serves the nation by honoring its defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities.

The Padres are proud to welcome Marine Combat Engineer Rob Jones to throw the Ceremonial First Pitch. Jones, a double amputee, is riding his bike from Maine to California as a fundraiser in partnership with Ride 2 Recovery, Semper Fi Fund and Coalition to Salute America's Heroes. He is set to finish his journey, which began last October, at Camp Pendleton the morning of April 12. Jones was deployed twice: to Iraq in 2008 and to Afghanistan in 2010. During his deployment to Afghanistan, while operating as a part of a push into Taliban territory, he was wounded by an IED. The injury resulted in the above-knee amputation of both his legs. Jones will enter the ballpark on his bike and ride around the warning track before throwing the First Pitch.

Sunday's National Anthem will be performed by Navy Band Southwest. In addition, Staff Sgt. Brent Williams of the United States Marine Corps will sing God Bless America during the 7th inning break. In his 17 years in the Marine Corps, Staff Sgt. Williams has been deployed twice to Iraq and once each to Afghanistan and Egypt. He is currently stationed with Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

In support of Military Opening Day, presenting sponsor Northrop Grumman has donated 1,500 tickets for Sunday's game to local military non-profits, and FOX Sports San Diego will provide transportation for Marines from Camp Pendleton and MCAS Miramar on its Fan Express.

More than 500 family members of active duty personnel serving with I MEF in Afghanistan will be in attendance to display messages of support that will be sent to their deployed Sailors and Marines.

More information about the full line-up of Military Salutes this season, including five individual branch appreciation days, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Salute to Veterans, and a Salute to the Military Child, can be found on the club's dedicated military website, www.padres.com/military, which serves as a tool to connect Padres fans to our San Diego military community and non-profit organizations that support it. 

In an effort to show our appreciation to those who serve, the Padres are proud to offer military personnel and first responders $6 off any ticket priced $14 or higher for all regular season home games. New for 2014, $10 tickets in the Right Field Lower Reserved sections are available for all Sunday home games, exclusively for service members and their families. Thanks to our partnership with GovX, these discounted tickets are now available for purchase online at www.padres.com/military, pending verification by GovX. Military in uniform can receive 50 percent off any available ticket at all Sunday home games. That discount is exclusively available on the day of the game at the Petco Park ticket windows.

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