Thunder Joins USAA to Salute Oklahoma Military

Oklahoma City, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 – The Oklahoma City Thunder has partnered with USAA, to salute servicemembers and their families during a special Military Appreciation Night in the Ford Center. Free tickets, special promotions and a halftime show are all on tap as a tribute to servicemembers at the Wednesday, March 4 game vs. the Washington Wizards. USAA is a Fortune 150 financial services company that facilitates the financial security to military members and their families The Thunder is asking all of its Season Ticket Members to donate their seats to servicemembers for the March 4 game. Season Ticket Members who would like to donate tickets are asked to contact their account manager at the Thunder. To date, more than 200 Season Ticket Members have donated a seat. USAA, working with local military installations is distributing 500 tickets to servicemembers, and the Thunder has donated an additional 150 tickets. Servicemembers from Tinker Air Force Base, Fort Sill and the Oklahoma National Guard are among those who will be in attendance. “We’re excited about being able to show the military and their families throughout Oklahoma how much our nation appreciates their decision to defend our national interests,” said Rear Admiral (ret) John Townes, vice president at USAA for military affairs. “The Thunder and USAA will make this a memorable night for our men and women in uniform.” In addition to the tickets, the first 2,000 active-duty military will receive a special commemorative “challenge” coin from USAA and $10 ticket discounts. All USAA members also will receive the ticket discount for the March 4 game. “Our franchise has prided itself on reaching out to the community and this is a great opportunity for us to partner with USAA for such a special night,” said Danny Barth, the Thunder’s Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. “We’ve already had a tremendous response from our season ticket holders who have donated their tickets to those in the military. The Thunder is proud to continue our commitment to the Oklahoma community.” Nashville recording artist Dustin Evans is scheduled to sing the National Anthem and perform his salute to the military “If I Die Before You Wake;” a ballad dedicated to those in uniform and the families supporting them. The performance will follow a special on-court presentation featuring Oklahoma Purple Heart recipients. Throughout the night, military-themed events will take place at the Ford Center. Select game night staff members will be wearing camouflage Thunder t-shirts, ushers will be wearing Thunder/American flag pins and the invocation will be given by Lieutenant Colonel William Toguchi from Tinker Air Force Base. The High Five Kids, Honorary Co-Captains and Game Ball presenters will all be children who have parents serving in the active military. Thunder fans will have an opportunity that night to show their support for men and woman of the armed services by buying items in the Thunder Shop and sending it in a military care package. Thunder staff will be on the hand at the shop to help mail the Thunder items. Any member of the armed forces who presents their identification will also receive 20 percent off. About USAA USAA, a diversified financial services group of companies, is the leading provider of financial planning, insurance, investments, and banking products to members of the U.S. military and their families. Named by BusinessWeek as No. 1 Customer Service Champ in 2007 and 2008, USAA provides highly competitive financial products to its 6.7 million members. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visit