As has become tradition, the ASY was invited to bring Active Duty volunteers from Twentynine Palms to Indian Wells Tennis Garden for BNP Paribas Open Salute to Heroes Night on Friday, March 7, 2014. This year 99 volunteers from the Marine Corps Communications and Electronics School participated in the ceremony between exhibition tennis matches, presenting a stadium sized flag to the spectators during the playing of the National Anthem. All who were involved represented the discipline, professionalism, and “Esprit de Corps” of the United States Marines outstandingly.
Salute to Heroes is a truly inspiring event to participate in each year, because it gives the public a chance to see young Marines working together. The sight of 99 Marines marching to cadence perfectly in step is something many of the crowd in the stadium will never see otherwise. During a short visit before the Ceremony, MCAGCC Commanding General Berger told the Marines, “This may be the only time some of the people watching tonight ever see a Marine. You’re representing all the Marines around the world tonight.”
The 99 Marines volunteers from Twentynine Palms couldn’t have done a better job representing the Corps’ core values of honor, courage, and commitment. As the Marine’s left the stadium one onlooker’s voice carried down from the stands saying: “how young they all look!” It was a very poignant moment as the crowd realized just how young the heroes that defend our country are, and how, despite their young age, they rise to the challenge and represent their country with unfailing courage and dedication.