Monday was an amazing time for veterans and fans at Great American Ball Park, with a special tribute to veterans from all conflicts since World War II and plenty of red, white and blue love to go around.
The Reds pulled out a win over the Brewers and this was a day filled with 'Thank Yous' to our veterans.
"Service to your country," said Kevin Robinson, a U.S. Army Vet and now reserve member of the National Guard. "That's what I'm here for and that's why I like wearing my hat," he said. "I still contact all my veteran buddies across the United States and am proud to serve and proud that everybody else served, thankful for that."
Robinson, like so many veterans, are proud to serve, yet humble about getting thanks.
"Scared to death," said Janet Grohal. "Scared to death, just praying that he'd come back."
Veteran Tom Grohal, who was sitting next to her in his wheelchair, had gotten engaged to his now wife Janet, then left to fight in Vietnam.
"We should think of the ones that's serving now and the ones that's all served in the past, who let us live in a free country."
There were long lines in the hot sun, as folks waited to get into the game.
The Pete Wagner Band's Dixieland tunes filled the Crosley Terrace.
There were two one-day Reds hopefuls from Ashland, Ohio, throwing a baseball back and forth outside Great American Ball Park, practicing catching a game ball once they got inside.
Lots of red, white and blue gear all-around. Some folks wore the flag on their shirts, while ten thousand others waved smaller ones they'd gotten courtesy of the Big Red Machine.
"Thanks for the service," said Andrew Gallo, who was one of the workers handing out the thousands of flags. "We really appreciate what you do."
There were lots of patriotic "wavers" like Bruce and Cinny Roy, who were cheering and waving with their new flags.
"We'll wave 'em high and proud," Bruce Roy said.
"Absolutely," said his wife Cinny Roy. "We have friends who's sons and daughters are in the armed forces and then in our family, my great grandparents served before they died and we're just excited to come here and celebrate."
On the field, plenty of standing-ovation applause as Ohio Senator Rob Portman handed out flags to Keith Maupin of the Yellow Ribbon Support Center and to soldiers who have fought in every U.S. conflict since World War II.
"This is a new world and a better world," said Leslie Edwards, who was one of five Tuskegee Airmen honored in ceremonies at GABP.
"The Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Tuskegee Airmen, because they changed the opportunities for everybody in the military and that affected our whole nation," Edwards said. "Opened-up opportunities for everybody."
U.S. Naval Officer Ruben Minor knocked-it out of the ballpark, with an incredible rendition of our National Anthem. What a perfect way to start the game.
Another nice caveat for our servicemen and women, they got one, free view-level ticket for the game, just by showing their military ID.