AW2 Delegates Take In a Ball Game

Army Veteran Delano Smith throws out an opening pitch at the San Antonio Missions game to kick-off Family night at the AW2 Symposium.

By Sarah Greer, WTC Stratcom

Last night, Families at the AW2 Symposium cheered for the San Antonio Missions, the local minor league baseball team, as they defeated the Corpus Christi Hooks. Delegates always look back on Family Night as one of the most fun parts of the AW2 Symposium, and this year’s event kept the tradition going strong. Both kids and parents chatted with Ballapeno, the Missions’ mascot, who was an excellent host.

Delegate Delano Smith threw an opening pitch amid a roaring cheer from the entire AW2 group—his pitch flew over the plate, showing up a Marine whose pitch fell short and landed in the dirt.

As I talked to people about the game, they broke into giant smiles full of enthusiasm. After three long days of focus group sessions—intense discussions full of detail and emotions—the delegates were ready to unwind.

“The game was a blast—I really enjoyed hanging out with the other delegates,” said Veteran Jeff Pone. “Since I retired a few years ago, I miss the camaraderie from being around other people in the service. Even if you don’t know each other, you still cut your teeth the same way.”

For some delegates, the game was a new experience.

“I’ve never been to a live baseball game before, because we live in such a rural area,” said Army spouse Sheila Scott. “I was amazed at how involved people were in the game.”

This morning, the delegates were back in their groups, finalizing their issues and writing their recommendations. Everyone is excited to see what they’ve prioritized for the Army and other agencies to address. I talked to many delegates this afternoon, and they were all looking forward to seeing the impact of their work on Army warrior care for years to come.

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