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July 4 Honors   2012 US Military July 4 Honors 2012 US Military

Quincy, Illinois USA

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Honoring Our Veterans - One Hero at a Time
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- Monday was not your normal off day for the Quincy Gems.

Instead, the organization spent several hours with our heroes both past and present as the U.S. Military All-Stars, and its nationwide 'Red, White & Blue' tour, presented by Veterans United came to QU-Stadium for a very special exhibition.

As part of the pregame festivities, the Military All-Stars presented an American flag from Ground Zero and the 9-11 attacks to Quincy's Derek Jennings, an Army ranger, who lost his leg overseas less than two years ago. The wind was howling and the rain was falling but the Military All-Stars and the many veterans organizations and city leaders taking part in the ceremony all stood their ground to honor Jennings and his family. It was an amazing ceremony and the weather conditions made it that much more dramatic for all in attendance.

The team's founder and general manager, Commander Crash Allvord, who himself did seven tours in the middle east and served 23 years in the Navy, says the team is uniquely formed of all branches of the Armed Forces and first responders.

"Although we did it in 1990 a few times, 2005 was the first time we were able to field at least one member from every branch on a regular basis. We have always wanted it to be a joint concept." Allvord told WGEM Sports.

"Everybody played really well together. Fighting joint is what we do in the real world stuations. When all branches are involved we call that 'Fighting Purple.' I guess you could say we play baseball purple. But more importantly, our mission is really to honor many of our heroes that have earned Purple Hearts. Veterans United and our other partners help us do that all over the world."

The U.S. Military All-Stars are now 25-6 as they continue to visit 45 states and 3 countries. They appeared at the Kansas City T-Bones to celebrate the 4th of July and will play tonight at WERNER PARK in Omaha, Nebraska.

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