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US OPEN TO HOST SIXTH ANNUAL MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY !
United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs,
Dr. David J. Shulkin, to Participate in Ceremonial Coin Toss
Multiple On-Court Acknowledgements and Participation
Slated for the Day and Night Sessions
US Open Offers First-Ever Military Discount to Day and Night Sessions on Sept. 4
NEW YORK(SMI-WIRE,08.28-09.10.17) The USTA today announced that it will host the sixth annual US Open Military Appreciation Day on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4, at the 2017 US Open. Dr. David J. Shulkin, United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, will make an on-court appearance for a ceremonial coin toss; he will be joined by Rear Admiral Sean S. Buck Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, Commander, U.S. Fourth Fleet. The US Open will also honor and recognize Medal of Honor recipient and United States Navy SEAL, Senior Chief Edward Byers.
The military contingent participating throughout the day will be honored and recognized for their sacrifice, bravery and courage in the line of duty, all witnessed by a capacity crowd of 24,000 fans in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Three coin toss ceremonies are slated for Arthur Ashe Stadium. The day will kick off with Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. David Shulkin, nominated by President Trump and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in February, as the ninth Secretary, and Rear Admiral Sean S. Buck Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, Commander, U.S. Fourth Fleet with a ceremonial coin toss.
Senior Chief Byers, who will be joined by his family to lead the day’s second coin toss, became the sixth Navy SEAL in history to receive the Medal of Honor presented in 2016, and is one of only eight living Navy Medal of Honor recipients.
Rounding out the final coin toss ceremony for the day session will be three military service members who represent the USTA and US Open, including USTA National Wheelchair Coach Paul Walker, who served in the army from 1987-1995 and fought in Desert Storm. He will be joined by U.S. Army Sergeant and three-time wounded warrior ballperson (2012, 2015 and 2017) Ryan McIntosh, and 93-year old World War II Purple Heart Veteran Luke Gasparre, who has served over 45 years as a greeter, beginning with the U.S. National Championships in Forest Hills and continuing until today.
In May, the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, Fla., established a weekly tennis clinic for 75 local veterans from the Orlando area. Three Veterans from three branches who participate in the clinics – Army, Navy and Marine Corps – will be acknowledged during an in-stadium ceremony.
In support of the day’s celebration, Chase, a US Open sponsor, provided tickets to be distributed to various military affiliated organizations to attend Military Appreciation Day, including veterans from the Northport VA medical center located in Northport, N.Y. Last year, the USTA supported and approved the refurbishment of two tennis courts located on the campus of the Northport VA Medical Center. Chase donated tickets also went to families of America’s fallen military who are supported by The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), and United War Veterans of NYC.
To cap off the day, two local military service members from New York City, Petty Officer First Class Steve Richards from the Navy and Staff Sgt. Allan Ray Hipol, an Air Force recruiter from Harlem with the 313th Recruiting Squadron will have an opportunity to toss the coin just before the first match of the night session.
For the first time, the US Open will be offering a discount ticket for the day and evening sessions to Military service personnel that show their military ID to the US Open Box Office on Sept. 4.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 715,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, one of the highest-attended annual sporting events in the world, and launched the US Open Series, linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships in addition to supporting tennis and education programs nationwide to benefit under-resourced youth through the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network.