From employment to fundraisers and beyond, the Pelicans have ingrained themselves into the local military community as a friend and supporter. The team has forged lasting partnerships and relationships with organizations such as Embrace Hospice, who provides end of life care for veterans, Roofs for Troops, Blue Star Mothers, JROTC programs, Combat Veterans of America, The Veterans Cafe, Support Military Spouses, and more.
There is no doubt that the biggest military event of the year is Horry County Military Appreciation Week. The team coordinates their Military Appreciation Night during this week and works with city officials and organizers on a full week of events and activities honoring those in the United States Armed Forces.
This year, in addition to other elements, the Pelicans' Military Appreciation Night featured a card set giveaway of 41 local veterans and a jersey raffle in which veterans or active duty personnel could win a special military themed jersey worn by the players.
A very special moment during the evening occurred after the game when every player and coach stayed behind to shake the hands of the personnel who had won a jersey and thank them for their service.
On a nightly basis the team pays tribute to fallen soldiers and those still missing in action with a moment of silence and recognition of our POW-MIA chair that remains empty.
One of the simplest and most touching moments of each home game is during a half inning break when all veterans or active duty personnel are asked to stand and be recognized. The crowd response is overwhelming without fail, and the pride seen on the faces of the men and women as they stand is unmistakable.
Several partnerships have been forged through our military support efforts. Embrace Hospice is one such partner who uses their partnership to focus solely on military outreach and providing Armed Forces personnel and their families a night out at the ballpark.
2016 marks year three of the partnership, but this year alone Embrace Hospice has treated over 320 veterans and their families to a night at the ballpark. Another element of this partnership has dubbed every Saturday as "Embrace Veterans Saturday". Prior to every Embrace Veterans Saturday home game we recognize the veterans in attendance with Embrace and read a brief summation of their service history. As stated before, the crowd always responds with overwhelming appreciation and more often than not a standing ovation.
Additional team partners include Monarch Roofing and Steak 'n Shake.
Steak 'n Shake, which is locally owned and operated by veterans, encourages employment of veterans and is very active within the local military community. Each year Monarch Roofing provides one veteran in need with a brand new roof through their Roofs for Troops Program.
All military personnel receive discounted admission to all Pelicans home games. Additionally, through a partnership with local Circle K convenience stores every ticket purchased through their app returned $1 to Salute Our Troops.
Fundraising efforts throughout the year returned over $11,000 to various military support organizations.
The Pelicans are also a proud employer of military personnel with at least a dozen veterans serving on our game day staff and active duty Sergeant Aaron Reeves serving as our Stadium Operations Assistant.