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Our Heroes

Our Heroes

The Royals and Budweiser salute a member of the military at games throughout the 2015 season.

Active duty and retired members of the United States Armed Forces are provided with complimentary tickets in the Budweiser seats on the first base side and recognized with a special in-game tribute.

2015 Honorees:

Monday, April 6 - Bernadine Stanley

Yeoman Second Class Petty Officer Bernadine Stanley enlisted in the United States Navy in 1943 and spent three years serving as part of the Navy Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service group. During her time, she served on the Admiral's Staff at the Naval Reserve Training Command Naval Air Station in Illinois with then-Lieutenant and future President Gerald Ford.

Following her service, she returned home to Kansas City where she and her husband raised ten children.

Wednesday, April 8 - Leigh Bellinger

Master Sergeant Leigh Bellinger has served twenty years in the United States Air Force. Beginning his career with the American Forces Network in South Korea, he has worked as a radio and television broadcaster, traveling all over the world telling stories of men and women in the United States military.

Deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Kosovo, the decorated Master Sergeant is now serving as the superintendent of the McConnell Air Force Base public affairs office.

Thursday, April 9 - Justin Love

Lance Corporal Justin Love has served two and a half years in the United States Marines Corp. A landing Support Specialist, he is been deployed to South Korea in support of their defense. Hoping to eventually become a Marine Corps officer, he will soon be deploying to the Middle East.

Friday, April 17 - Robert Bennett

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bennett began his military career at West Point and has since served 24 years in the United States Army. Throughout his service, he has done a variety of tasks all over the world including, three tours in Iraq, planning and executing various military strategies and missile strikes, and served as the Chief of Operations of the Army in Africa.

Recently, Lieutenant Colonel Bennett moved back to Kansas City and is now an instructor at the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.

Saturday, April 18 - Brad Burkhart

Sergeant First Class Brad Burkhart joined the United States Army in 1995 as an Indirect Fireman and served two deployments in Kuwait with the 1st Calvary Division. Later, as a combat engineer, he served as a Platoon Sergeant for a Route Clearance and Counter IED platoon in Afghanistan.

The recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, Sergeant First Class Burkhart medically retired after injuries sustained in an I-E-D blast while in Afghanistan.

Sunday, April 19 - John Thompson

Captain John Thompson served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a B-17 Navigator during World War 2 and was assigned to the 94th Heavy Bomb Group, 8th Air Force in England. In April, 1944 his B-17 Flying Fortress crew was shot down over Berlin and he was taken as a prisoner of war and held at four camps. Over a year later, General Patton's third Army liberated John and his camp.

Monday, April 20 - Zachary Jacobs

Specialist Zachary Jacobs has served in the United States Army Reserve for six years. Deployed twice, he served as a Motor Transport Operator, driving over 30,000 miles throughout Iraq and later a Horizontal Constructions Engineer in charge of the deconstruction of military bases in Afghanistan.

Recently, the Army Commendation Medal recipient re-enlisted for six more years in the Reserve.

Tuesday, April 21 - Chris Stergos

Sergeant Chris Stergos served in the United States Marines for five years and specialized as an Intelligence Specialist and Small Arms Range Instructor. Deployed three times, Sergeant Stergos served with the 2nd Intelligence Battalion twice in Iraq, and as a part of a Joint Task Force on a counter-terrorism mission in the Horn of Africa.

The decorated veteran left the military in 2005 and is now very active with local military groups including the VFW Post 7397 and Team Red, White, and Blue.

Wednesday, April 22 - Jason Sigler

Major Jason Sigler graduated from West Point in 2001 and was commissioned in the Armor Branch. Deployed three times, he served as a tank platoon leader in Iraq in 2003, a Force Generation Planner in 2004, and while in Afghanistan in 2010, took command of Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1-38 Cavalry Regiment.

The recipient of many awards including the Bronze Star with "V" device and Bronze Star with One Oak Leaf Cluster, he now attends the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.

Thursday, April 30 - Robert Davis

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Davis enlisted in the United States Army as a Construction Equipment Repairer in June 1999 and was commissioned as an officer in 2008. Throughout his service he has been stationed all over the United States and has been deployed three times to Afghanistan and once to Iraq where he was in charge of a convoy security team that would run security for convoys throughout Iraq.

The highly decorated soldier and his family recently moved back home to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Friday, May 1 - Marciano Galarza

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Marciano Galarza has served in the United States Army for 20 years. A logistical officer for the 1st Sustainment Brigade out of Fort Riley, Kansas, he has deployed six total times with individual deployments to Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and three to Iraq.

Highly decorated, Chief Warrant Officer Galarza has received many awards including the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal.

Saturday, May 2 - William Barber

Sergeant William Barber has served in the Missouri Army National Guard for eight years. Specializing as a Motor Transport Operator and Petroleum Supply Specialist, Sergeant Barber has been deployed twice, once to Kosovo and most recently to Afghanistan.

The decorated veteran is currently serving as an RSP Coordinator for the Missouri Army National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program.

Sunday, May 3 - Darius and Dana Ervin

Major Darius Ervin has served in the Army for sixteen years in military intelligence. Deployed twice, he is the recipient of the Bronze Star. His wife, Captain Dana Ervin also served in the Army for six years and deployed once in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

They are here today with their daughter and girl scout, Olivia.

Tuesday, May 5 - Ben Brock

Captain Ben Brock served in the United States Army for five years and specialized in logistics. Deployed twice to Afghanistan, he served as a Transportation Platoon Leader on convoy logistics patrols and led a High Risk Personnel Security Team for their brigade.

For his service, Captain Brock received the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Army Commendation Medal.

Wednesday, May 6 - Cale Swarnes

Sergeant Cale Swarnes served as an Infantryman for the 101st Airborne Division for eight years. Deployed to Iraq multiple times, he served as a Humvee driver, .50 cal gunner, and truck commander on over 750 combat missions. The recipient of two Purple Hearts for wounds received in combat, he is now medically retired and attending school to become an elementary teacher.

Thursday, May 7 - Oscar Filipot

Staff Sergeant Oscar Fillpot served twenty-five years in the United States Army and National Guard and specialized in Mechanized Field Artillery. Throughout his service, he deployed once and served three years in military intelligence.

Honorably discharged, Staff Sergeant Fillpot received numerous awards including Meritorious Service Award and Desert Storm Service.

For more information, fans can contact the Royals' Community Relations department at