Dodgers honor veterans on Memorial Day

Dodgers honor veterans on Memorial Day

LOS ANGELES -- Prior to Monday's first pitch at Dodger Stadium, a number of American veterans were honored on the field in a tribute for Memorial Day to those who have served the country.

The tribute began with a performance of "Yankee Doodle" on the organ and was followed with the honoring of the Veteran of the Game, U.S. Army Sergeant Luis Garcia. Garcia is from Orange, Calif., and he served two tours in Iraq, earning a number of medals for his service.

The pregame ceremony continued with the singing of "God Bless America" by U.S. Air Force Reserve Staff Sergeant DeJon Fruga of the March Air Reserve Base.

The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Michael Meija, who served two deployments in Iraq and another in Afghanistan since joining the Marines in 2003. A trio of veterans -- U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Ernest Aleman, U.S. Lance Corporal Nathaniel Boldt and U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Christopher Johnson -- opened the game with a chanting of "it's time for Dodger baseball!"

The ceremony also included a moment of silence, which was followed with a moment for all veterans in attendance to stand, prompting screams of "thank you" from the crowd. Broadcaster Rick Monday, who was a Marine Corps medic for six years, was shown on the big screen before the game, earning him a loud round of applause from the crowd.