Royals greats to visit American troops in the Middle East

Soldiers of the Missouri National Guard 35th Combat Aviation Brigade at their June 9 deployment ceremony.
Courtesy: Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals greats George Brett, Bret Saberhagen, Reggie Sanders and Mike Sweeney will visit American troops at four locations in the Middle East next month in partnership with the USO and FOX Sports Kansas City.

The USO trip will coincide with the Royals’ annual Armed Forces Night at Kauffman Stadium and FSKC’s “This One’s For You” telecast on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

“George, Sabes, Reggie and I are so excited for this once-in-a-lifetime trip,” said Royals Hall of Famer Mike Sweeney. “I can speak for all of the guys when I say we are incredibly honored and humbled by the sacrifice our military men and women make, home and abroad. We are just as honored and humbled to be asked to represent the Royals, FSKC and our great nation on this outreach to the troops.”

The Royals greats will watch the Sept. 11 Royals game on American Forces Network alongside members of the Missouri National Guard 35th Combat Aviation Brigade, which is headquartered in Sedalia, Mo., and includes many Royals fans. FSKC presents its annual “This One’s For You” telecast to troops that night, connecting live with the troops and Royals greats. FSKC host/reporter Joel Goldberg will be part of the trip, and FSKC will weave the troops’ stories into its broadcast of the Royals’ game against the Chicago White Sox. Family members of the 35th CAB will attend the game at Kauffman Stadium and will be treated to a tailgate hosted by Aramark prior to the game. Television coverage, which will include the Royals’ pregame ceremony to honor the military, will start at 6 p.m. CT. The game is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. CT – that’s 3:15 a.m. in the Middle East.

“The Royals produce a tremendous salute to armed forces, and sending four Royals legends overseas with the USO takes it to another level,” said Goldberg, host of Royals Live on FOX Sports Kansas City, the television home of the Royals. “We’re honored to have the opportunity to share the stories of these soldiers and airmen and the sacrifices their families make, and to connect them with Royals fans watching in Kansas City and throughout the Midwest.”

The 35th CAB is in its third deployment to the Middle East in support of Operations Spartan Shield and Inherent Freedom, where it provides command and control of several thousand soldiers and more than 100 rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. The unit has been headquartered in Sedalia since 2003.

“A successful deployment not only requires the hard work and sacrifice of the individual soldier, but also the support and sacrifice of their family members, their employer and their community,” said Col. Charles Hausman, the Brigade Commander, 35th CAB, and a native of St. Joseph, Mo. “The soldiers of the 35th Combat Aviation Brigade truly appreciate the support we receive from the entire community and would like to thank the Kansas City Royals and FOX Sports Kansas City for providing this opportunity for soldiers to connect with their families in a unique way. Inviting families to Kauffman Stadium to enjoy a game while soldiers watch from the Middle East with some Royals legends is a memory few will forget.”

The USO is a private, nonprofit organization that strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country throughout their service to the nation. Its programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of corporate partners and dedicated volunteers and staff.

“The opportunity for the USO to partner with FOX Sports and the Kansas City Royals to bring this unique opportunity to the soldiers of the 35th CAB is very exciting for us,” said Paul Allvin, USO senior vice president of brand advancement. “We keep service members connected to family, home and country, so being able to provide our deployed service members the ability to watch their favorite team and directly communicate with their family members is a great opportunity for us to do just that.”