Air Force Staff Sergeant makes return to Progressive Field after 9 years away
The first time Staff Sergeant Jeffery Walker was at Progressive Field, it was 1994, the year the ballpark opened (as Jacobs Field).
“I sat in left field and I remember catching a home run from Manny Ramirez.”
Since then he has attended many Tribe games, but his visits were cut short nine years ago when he joined the United States Air Force. Friday night was his first time back to the ballpark since 2005.
Staff Sgt. Walker serves in the United States Air Force. He previously served two tours at Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan where he earned two Commendation medals. Originally from Dover, Ohio, he is now stationed at the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, nine hours away from Cleveland and the Tribe.
His feeling of being back could only be described in one word: “Awesome.”
Staff Sgt. Walker’s wife, Ashley, bought four tickets to the May 30th game for her husband and her parents. The family was in town for a wedding, so it was a perfect opportunity to reunite with the Tribe. She never told her husband that he would be honored at Friday’s game for his service.
With his name announced in the bottom of the sixth and services highlighted on the scoreboard, Staff Sgt. Walker smiled, stood and tipped his cap to a roar of applause from the crowd of 25,066.
A beautiful night, dollar dogs, fireworks and a win. What more could you ask for during your first Tribe baseball game in nine years?
–TribeVibe contributor Angela Martin