Vets and Military Family Members Group Represent UCR at Angels Game

Flag carriers from UCR veterans group helped honor the country during Independence Day ceremony

The Condor Squadron performs a flyover as a giant American flag is unfurled over the outfield in honor of Independence Day before the Angels game against the Cardinals. PHOTO BY Jordan Murph/Angels Baseball LP

Members of the UCR faculty and staff Veterans, Military Members and Families Group (VMMFG) proudly represented their university and celebrated their country on July 4, when they participated in the Independence Day Flag Ceremony at Angel Stadium. Held right before the Los Angeles Angels played against the St. Louis Cardinals, group members gathered with almost 200 volunteers to assemble a giant flag that weighed approximately 1,400 pounds and measured 150 feet-by-300 feet.

After the honorary first pitch thrown by Naval Special Warfare Operator Ronnie Harrison and the presentation of the colors by the MCTSSA Honor Guard of Camp Pendleton, flag carriers unfurled the huge American flag to the singing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” and the cheers of the crowd.  Within moments, the Condor Squadron performed a flyover of the stadium.

Many VMMFG members described the experience as emotionally moving.  As VMMFG co-chair Karen Springer said, “Standing on the field with the ball players, caps held over their hearts, myself and those around me holding on dearly to a piece of the grand American flag and looking up into the applauding stadium crowd was an honor that I will forever remember.”

The organization actively works to create and maintain a supportive and welcoming environment for UCR employees who are current and former military members and military family members.  The group also serves as an educational and diversity resource to the campus community.

The VMMFG meets quarterly over lunch and participates in special events. The next meeting is set for August 9 from noon to 1:15 p.m. in Hinderaker Hall B-154.  For more information about the group, please visit VMMFG at diversity.ucr.edu or contact Karen Springer at karen.springer@ucr.edu.

The organization is also a partner of the Chancellor’s Diversity Education Program:  Making Excellence Inclusive, and is sponsored by Human Resources and the Office of Faculty and Staff Affirmative Action.

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