Friends of Francona program honors Veteran Army Sgt. Tina Harper at Sunday’s game
Sunday marked yet another day for Tribe manager Terry Francona’s Friends of Francona program, through which he invites a military veteran and his or her family and friends to the ballpark.
Sgt. Tina Harper, who has been in the Army Reserves since 1999 was assigned to the 660th Transportation Company out of Cadiz/Zanesville Ohio. Harper was then deployed on December 7, 2003 to Indiana for training then to Kuwait to wait for the signal to move forward into Iraq. While in Iraq her unit was assigned to drive M915A2’s (freightliner semi-trucks) pulling 7,500-gallon fuel tankers.
Sgt. Harper has been a Tribe fan her whole life: “30-some years…. (laughs)” as she’s holding her 3-month old son, Brock, with an Indians hat on. Her favorite player is Omar Vizquel: “My mother and I loved watched him play and his defense.”
Operating over 230 missions, and driving over a million miles was no easy task for Sgt. Harper and her unit. Since her return, she has been dealing with a chronic back issue and is slated to have surgery.
“I’d like to thank the Indians and Terry Francona and that it’s a great service that he does for people that wouldn’t be able to do this otherwise. I’m very appreciative,” she said Sunday.
Past Friends of Francona participants: