March 31, 2011
WASHINGTON - The University of Cincinnati baseball team visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Thursday in conjunction with its weekend road trip series against Georgetown University.
"We were proud to visit Walter Reed to express our gratitude for the Soldiers and Marines here who have made such a sacrifice and hope that, in some small way, our visit might have brightened their day," said UC head coach Brian Cleary.
UC arrived in Washington, D.C. Thursday afternoon and headed straight toward Walter Reed. Upon their arrival, the Bearcats were greeted by tour guides who provided facility information and introduced the players and coaches to several injured war veterans.
"Selfishly, I think it is beneficial for all of us, especially our players, to have seen first hand the spirit of the wounded, their families and the staff as they deal with their injuries," said Cleary.
The Walter Reed visit continues the Cincinnati baseball program's tradition of supporting the military community, such as when the Bearcats routinely visit the Cincinnati V.A. Hospital.
The team had the opportunity to autograph a flag to be auctioned off by Operation Ward 57, a non-profit organization created to support wounded warriors, their families and medical staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The flag, which will be auctioned later in 2011, featured signatures from the likes of President Barack Obama, to FOX News personality Bill O'Reilly, to numerous professional athletes.
In appreciation of the opportunity to visit, the baseball team presented UC memorabilia to patients and staff.
Cincinnati will play Georgetown in a three-game series starting at 3 p.m. Friday at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, Md.