Thunder to Hold Sixth Military Appreciation Night

OKLAHOMA CITY, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 – The Oklahoma City Thunder will hold its sixth annual Military Appreciation Night on Monday, Jan. 27, as the team takes on the Atlanta Hawks. The game tips off at 7 p.m. at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Events honoring the nation’s troops and our veterans will include a special Thunder Cares auction and raffle, in-game recognition of military personnel, an exclusive T-shirt offer and more.

More than 900 military personnel and families will be in attendance at Monday’s game, thanks to hundreds of Thunder Season Ticket members who chose to give away their tickets for the night. In addition, 75 children of military personnel, identified by the Airman and Family Readiness Center, will be able to attend the game through player-donated tickets as part of the team’s Tickets for Kids program.

#THUNDERSALUTE: Prior to Monday’s game, the Thunder is asking fans to submit photos of themselves or their loved ones in service to our country. The photos will be displayed in the arena on Monday to honor all of our service members and veterans. Fans can submit photos on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ThunderSalute.

DEVON COMMUNITY HEROES: As part of its Devon Community Heroes program, the Thunder will honor five military heroes, who will represent all of their cohorts from their time of service.

Those honored will include: Oklahoma National Guard member Spc. James Kimball, representing current service members; retired Army Spc. Pete Johnson, representing Desert Storm and Desert Shield veterans; retired Air Force Capt. Don Hardon, representing Vietnam veterans; retired Army Cpl. Jack Dake, representing Korean War veterans; and retired Army Sgt. Harley Richardson, representing veterans of World War II. All five honorees are from Oklahoma.

THUNDER CARES AUCTION: The Thunder Cares Foundation will hold a special auction and raffle during the game, benefiting Operation Homefront. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on a variety of Thunder-autographed items and other signed sports memorabilia, including game-worn shooting shirt signed by Reggie Jackson. Raffle tickets will be sold for $5 and will offer fans a chance to win a Thunder team-signed basketball. Raffle and auction tables will be located outside Section 120, near the Thunder Shop; auction bids and raffle entries will be accepted until the end of the third quarter.

Operation Homefront provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors.

EXCLUSIVE T-SHIRT: Fans will have the opportunity to purchase a commemorative Military Night T-shirt for $15 at the Thunder Shop outside Section 120 on Monday night. With each of these T-shirts purchased, a Thunder T-shirt will be donated to our troops protecting our freedom.

LETTERS TO TROOPS: The Thunder will collect and mail letters of support to troops stationed abroad. During the game, fans can stop by the table outside Section 116 to write letters of thanks and encouragement; the Thunder will send these letters to servicemen and -women currently serving overseas.

IN-GAME FEATURES: Prior to the game, Chaplain James Smith of the Oklahoma Army National Guard will lead the invocation, and the U.S. Naval Honor Guard will present the colors. The halftime presentation will feature the Southeast High School JROTC silent drill team, as well as the administration of the oath of enlistment for incoming members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

Media note: For coverage of any of these activities, please contact a member of the Thunder Corporate Communications staff.