Veteran crafts special Heroes Day helmet for ETSU baseball

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ETSU baseball will unveil a special catcher’s helmet during Thursday’s “Heroes Day” promotion, one that was hand-brushed by US Army Veteran and Tri-Cities resident Chris Arnold.

For Heroes Day, the team will honor all veterans, active service military, police, firefighters, EMT’s and medical professionals. Anyone in those categories with a valid ID or in uniform will receive one free ticket to the game.

Chris Arnold is one of those heroes, as he served in the US Army as an 11Bravo Infantryman from 1987-1996. He earned the Combat Infantryman Badge as an M60 machine gunner during Operation Just Cause, the Invasion of Panama on Dec 20th, 1989.

Arnold later served in Korea and the DMZ, as an Infantry Team Leader and company sniper in 5/20 Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division.

“I wanted to remember the soldiers of my unit — the 4th Battalion 6th Infantry Regiment, of the 5th Infantry Division, from Fort Polk, La., especially honoring the two soldiers that were killed in action from my unit,” Arnold said. “Cpl. Ivan Perez was killed in an enemy ambush during the initial night assault of Noriega’s Panamanian Defense Force Headquarters. Pvt. Kenneth Scott was killed by an enemy sniper the following day.”

Arnold said the 4/6 Infantry had a total of 32 soldiers wounded in action during the operation, successfully capturing the compounds and defeating the enemy forces in urban terrain.

The special helmet created by Arnold will commemorate his comrades and all the heroes that serve to protect the citizens in America.

The mask will be debuted by ETSU’s junior catcher Jackson Greer (Knoxville) against Samford to kick off the final regular season series at Thomas Stadium. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. with a special unveiling ceremony to take place a few minutes prior.

“Heroes Day is an honor for me to represent something that is bigger than myself,” said Greer. “It’s also an honor for me to represent those that have served the country and serve the public.”

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