BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Players on the West Feliciana TRIBE youth baseball team have a lot to be proud of this weekend. Sunday, the team won its match in the Louisiana Governor’s Games at Oak Villa. It’s perhaps the combat green jerseys and army hats they wore instead of their normal uniforms that helped push them to win, says one parent.
Each player wore the nameplate of a fallen Louisiana soldier attached to the back of their hat during the game. When the hats were distributed to players ahead of the game they each presented information about their assigned fallen soldier to their family and friends. Players were told to adopt the mindset that they were “battling” in honor of the soldier during the match.
“It really brings it home for them and shows them what Memorial Day is all about in a way that’s more real for them,” said Cindy Thibodeaux, the mother of twin boys who play on the team.
Thibodeaux says her older son serves in the Army. She said she was excited that her younger sons would get a better understanding of what Memorial Day meant to the other members of their family, and was happy they could be participate in honoring fallen soldiers in their own special way.
“It’s honestly a proud moment for me,” Thibodeaux said.
Thibodeaux says the idea was inspired partially by the team’s coach, Jim Joiner, who served in the Navy during Desert Storm. Joiner was deployed two more times with the National Guard where he continues to serve.
Thibodeaux say other teams also honored fallen soldiers by having players wear patriotic socks and jerseys decorated with the phrase “Never Forget.”