552 ACW Airmen recognized at World Cup of Softball

Col. Scott Forest, vice commander, 552 ACW, was invited to throw the first pitch of the game as part of Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

Col. Scott Forest, vice commander, 552 ACW, was invited to throw the first pitch of the game as part of Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

Col. Scott Forest, vice commander, 552 ACW, shakes the Team USA catcher's hand after throwing her the first pitch as part of Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

Col. Scott Forest, vice commander, 552 ACW, shakes the Team USA catcher's hand after throwing her the first pitch as part of Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

Ten Airmen from the 552nd Air Control Wing were introduced along with the Team USA players as part of Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

Ten Airmen from the 552nd Air Control Wing were introduced along with the Team USA players as part of Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

Ten Airmen from the 552nd Air Control Wing were introduced along with the Team USA players as part of Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

Ten Airmen from the 552nd Air Control Wing were introduced along with the Team USA players as part of Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

Col. Scott Forest, vice commander, 552 ACW, and ten other Airmen from the 552nd Air Control Wing were recognized as part of Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

Col. Scott Forest, vice commander, 552 ACW, and ten other Airmen from the 552nd Air Control Wing were recognized as part of Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

Ten Airmen from the 552nd Air Control Wing were introduced along with the Team USA players as part of Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

Ten Airmen from the 552nd Air Control Wing were introduced along with the Team USA players as part of Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

The Tinker Air Force Base Honor Guard performed during Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

The Tinker Air Force Base Honor Guard performed during Military Appreciation Night at the World Cup of Softball July 17.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Eleven deserving Airmen from the 552nd Air Control Wing were recognized Friday night during the KFC World Cup of Softball for their excellent commitment and service to the wing and the US Air Force.

Col. Scott Forest, vice commander, 552 ACW, was invited to throw the first pitch of the game as part of Military Appreciation Night, and ten other outstanding Airmen from the wing were introduced along with the Team USA players.

"I thought it was neat that we all got recognized," said Airman First Class Alyssa Kim, Knowledge Operations Management Apprentice, 966th Airborne Air Control Squadron.

"Hearing people cheer and clap for you makes you remember why you serve your country. A lot of people really don't know the sacrifices we make every day in order to keep people living the way they do now," said Airman Kim.

Senior Airman Ayanna Thomas agreed, saying that it was an honor to "be recognized for serving our country in front all the softball players and fans. It was also great to interact with the USA softball players. They were very nice and encouraging."

Staff Sgt. Kalonna Miller, knowledge operations manager, command section, 552 ACW, who just took up playing softball while deployed to Iraq, was especially excited to meet Team USA. "The players thanked us for our service and they were so sincere," she said, "but they too are heroes and it was an honor to shake their hands."

The game was televised nationally on ESPN and included a brief shot of the 552 ACW Airmen lined up at the beginning of the game.

Even though it was short-lived, Airman Kim thought the best part was being on TV. "Although it was for a brief moment," she said, "it was great that my family and friends got to see me on TV representing them and the Air Force!"

Sergeant Miller's family also saw her on ESPN, but despite the national attention, she admitted, "I just feel like a regular person doing a job that I love. I was just lucky enough to be chosen to be out there and meet all of the players!"

Those Team USA players are now world cup champions with their undefeated record over the five-day competition. Thanks to everyone who was out there to cheer them on to victory!