Soldiers and families of the Warrior Transition Battalion gathered Saturday at the Soldier and Family Assistance Center for a visit from Braves prospect Freddie Freeman, bench coach Chino Cadahia, mascot Homer the Brave and two Braves cheerleaders.
The visit, organized by Operation Homefront, was the first stop of the Braves Country Caravan. Various members of the team will be on the road until Feb. 13, stopping in Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina and Tennessee to meet, greet and sign autographs for their fans.
“I watch baseball religiously,” said SSG Nick Philoctete of B Company, WTB. “It’s my favorite sport. I can’t wait to meet them.”
SFC Robert Nerkowski, A Co., WTB, was decked out in a Braves jersey and ready to meet the Braves.
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“I have been to almost every home game this year,” he said. “I usually sit along the first base line, four rows back right by the dugout.”
Nerkowski loves the Braves so much, he named his 1-year-old golden retriever Hudson, after Braves pitcher Tim Hudson.
Nerkowski said he was happy about the visit.
“I think its awesome they came down,” he said. “I know a lot of us support them, so it means so much to know they support us.”
Visiting with Soldiers and their families was a real treat, Cadahia said.
“(Soldiers are) the main reason that we have the nation that we have and they always make sure that we’re safe, so this is just a little token of appreciation,” he said.
After visiting at Fort Benning, the Braves headed to Montgomery and Auburn, Ala., to sign autographs. Their next stops are in Atlanta, College Park and Stockbridge, Ga. To see where the Braves will go next, go to www.braves.com/caravan.
After the caravan, the Braves will head to Orlando, Fla., for spring training.