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Soldiers from 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, their Families and friends, gathered for Raider Night at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma Aug. 7 to enjoy a baseball game between the Tacoma Rainiers and New Orleans Zephyrs.
The 4th Bde., 2nd Inf. Div. Raiders spent an evening of relaxation following a recent rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., to emerge refreshed and ready to resume preparations for future training and operations. The evening was also an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with the local community.
The stadiums jumbotron played a video of Raiders training at NTC, the brigade color guard rendered honors and the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Sgt. Dariusz Krzywonos, this years U.S. Army Forces Command NCO of the Year from 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment. Krzywonos was also named an Armed Forces Member of the Game, receiving free box seats and a variety of amenities from the Rainiers.
I was asked to throw the opening pitch, which I found very exciting and adventurous, Krzywonos said. The NCO was born in Poland and never held a baseball until he practiced for an hour the previous day with a fellow 4th Bde. Soldier. Five other Soldiers, one from each battalion, were specially recognized on the field in front of the spectators for their individual accomplishments and given access to the USO box seats at the stadium.
The brigades Stryker vehicles and Humvees were displayed throughout the evening and proved popular. Amy Downing, wife of Lt. Col. William S. Downing, commander of 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment sang God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch.
It was amazing to see so many Soldiers and their Families enjoying themselves and really getting into the game, Don Dibastiani, group events coordinator for the Rainiers said.
Despite the 2-0 Zephyrs victory, Soldiers and Families enjoyed the camaraderie of a night out at the ballpark. It was an honor to be able to work with the 4th Stryker Brigade and be able to provide a way for the unit to get together for some fun and build morale, Dibastiani said.