A Military Appreciation Day doubleheader is planned for Saturday with Bedford High School teams hosting their counterparts from Concord-Carlisle amidst patriotic ceremonies and a worthy charitable beneficiary.
The softball game begins at 11 a.m. at Miss G Field, with ceremonial activities at 1:45 p.m., followed by the baseball game on Field A.
Each game will be preceded by the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The Air Force Junior Reserved Officer Training Corps color guard will post the flags before the baseball game.
The BHS varsity baseball head coach originated military appreciation festivities in 2019. “My dad was in the Air Force for 20 years, and my family came to this area because of Hanscom,” Gunnar Olson said. The 2002 BHS graduate has been teaching and coaching at his alma mater for 10 years.
“This is something I wanted to do to bring the community together and recognize the important jobs people do on the base and the sacrifices they make,” he explained.
After a two-year pandemic hiatus, Military Appreciation Day resumed in 2022 with simultaneous baseball and softball games. Saturday will be a true doubleheader with an opener and a nightcap.
Other features on Saturday will include kids’ carnival-type games and a parent-run barbecue beyond the Field A right-field line; and a raffle with proceeds supporting the charity Home Base, a national organization that serves injured U.S. veterans and their families. Last year, the raffle raised about $1,200, Olson noted.
Some members of the Buccaneer baseball team are children of military families, Olson said, and he hoped the appreciation day is especially meaningful to all Hanscom families. He added that he invited the team from the Hanscom Middle School to attend.
Both baseball teams will wear special jerseys to mark the occasion. Bedford uniforms will feature an Air Force design while the Patriots will wear shirts representing the other armed forces.
“Concord has been a very willing participant all three years,” the coach said.
He also noted that one of his players, junior Hayden McAllister, will sing the national anthem before the afternoon game.