Tomorrow is Military Appreciation Night

OKLAHOMA CITY, Tuesday, March 3, 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. Tomorrow’s game against the Washington Wizards will be full of military-focused activities, and more than 1,800 tickets have been donated by Thunder Season Ticket Members and sponsors to active duty military members for the game.

USAA members and those in the military get discounted admission to Thunder Military Appreciation Night. To save $10 on admission, USAA members and those in the military are encouraged to call 405-208-HOOP. The deadline for discounted tickets is noon tomorrow.

Nashville recording artist Dustin Evans will perform the National Anthem, and at halftime will sing 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. A giant American Flag, which will be held by the Thunder Girls and members from the U.S. Navy, will be on the court for the National Anthem.

The invocation before the game will be performed by Military chaplain, 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. During the Game Ball presentation, a special surprise video message will play on the video scoreboard from a parent deployed overseas.

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 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. Fans are also encouraged to create their own video message of gratitude and support for the troops during the game. The USAA Shout-Out Station is located just outside Section 108.