Saints Independence Day Celebration, Presented By Cub Foods and Snapple on July 6, Will Honor Disabled VeteransST. PAUL, MN July 3, 2013
ST. PAUL, MN (July 3, 2013) – The St. Paul Saints Independence Day Celebration is always an emotional evening. There are moments that make those in attendance well up with tears from heart-warming stories to painful reminders. There are moments that make fans want to stand and give a rousing ovation for the heroism on display. Most of all there are moments that make everyone proud to be an American, realizing how fortunate we are to live in a great country. The Saints Independence Day celebration in 2013 will encompass all those emotions once again.
On Saturday night, July 6, the Saints will take on the Kansas City T-Bones in a 7:05 p.m. contest. The Saints will honor those that have fought for our freedom by honoring disabled veterans in conjunction with Veterans Airlift Command on an Independence Day Celebration presented by Snapple and Cub Foods.
The Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) is an organization that provides free air transportation to post 9/11 combat wounded and their families and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. The aircraft are often private planes with pilots supply their own aircraft and either served in the military or seasoned aviators. They all have one thing in common, however, the desire to serve those who served us.
The Saints will also honor Jack Zimmerman a 23-year-old from Cleveland, MN. Being from a military family Zimmerman had aspirations of joining the Army. After hearing stories of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan he joined the Army on September 2, 2009. In January, 2010 he went to Airborne School where he graduated after completing five successful jumps. On June 6, 2010 he deployed to Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division. After coming home for his two week mid tour leave, Zimmerman returned on March 9, 2011 for his final four months of deployment. After being back for just five days, Zimmerman stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device while on a dismounted patrol. His legs were both immediately amputated above the knee, he lost three fingers on his right hand and both his arms suffered severe breaks, fractures, and skin loss. Zimmerman was thrown 20ft in the air and after landing on his neck, separated his left shoulder from his collar bone. He was immediately flown via MedVac, the organization helping promote the Independence Celebration game and is in attendance as their guest, to Kandahar Airfield Base where he was medically induced into a five day coma. He endured over 20 operations, learned to use a wheelchair, and slowly adjusted to his new lifestyle. Today, Zimmerman has been medically retired from the Army after receiving his 100% disability and being honorably discharged. He is currently building a handicapped accessible home with the help of the nationwide non-profit organization, Helping A Hero. He has taken an active role in mentoring veterans in his community and has established a position as outreach manager for a non-profit organization that sends veterans and wounded warriors on dream hunting and fishing trips across the country.
“The Saints are proud to partner with Snapple, Cub Foods and the Veterans Airlift Command for one of the most special events of the season,” said Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Derek Sharrer. “We see it as a privilege and an honor to shine the spotlight on an organization like VAC and to pay tribute to the families that they serve. It’s one very small way that we can show our gratitude to the brave men and women who put themselves in harms way to protect this country.”
In effort to ensure that as many current and former military families as possible are able to enjoy this Independence Celebration with the Saints 1,500 free tickets have been made available thanks to the generosity of Snapple and Cub Foods.
The Minnesota National Guard will present the colors and the Minnesota Chorales will sing the National Anthem. Following the game one of the longest, loudest and most colorful fireworks shows in the area will conclude this special evening.
In seasons past the Saints have honored Women in the Military, the Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, the Wounded Warrior Project, Vietnam Veterans, Minnesotan’s in the Military and Military Mom’s. The Independence Day Game has traditionally drawn about 9,000 fans including a record crowd of 9.312 on July 6, 2007.
Tickets are available for the July 6 Independence Day game starting at $8 for general admission, $11 for outfield reserved and $15 for infield reserved. Tickets for all other home games are available starting at $5 for general admission, $8 for outfield reserved and $12 for infield reserved. Friday Home Games with post-game fireworks (except July 6 and September 1) are an additional $2 per ticket. The September 1 game also features extended post-game fireworks and is an additional $3 per ticket. Tickets purchased on the Day of the Game are an additional $1 per ticket. Children under the age of 12 and seniors 65 and older receive $1 off the admission price. Children under 2 that don't require a seat are free.
Tickets for all Saints regular season home games are available now, in person at the Saints Box Office, by phone at 651-644-6659 or online at saintsbaseball.com.