June 13th, 2016 09:13 EST
Service Members Join Carter at NBA Finals as League Highlights DoD Partnership
At the invitation of National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver, four service members from around the country representing the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force joined Defense Secretary Ash Carter at Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Cleveland last night.
In a statement yesterday, Cook said Carter welcomed the opportunity to highlight the service of the troops, who were honored on the court during a pregame ceremony, and to highlight the tremendous partnership " between the NBA and America`s military.
The young officers and enlisted service members attending the game illustrate the department`s efforts through Secretary Carter`s Force of the Future initiatives to continue recruiting, developing and retaining the most talented men and women America has to offer, " Cook said, including the initiatives the secretary announced June 9.
Close Ties Between NBA, DoD
The department`s work with the NBA includes the league`s "Hoops for Troops" program, in which NBA teams honor active and retired service members through innovative programming and game promotions, and the Commitment to Service program, in which the league and its teams, military installations and military support organizations team up for community outreach events.
NBA and WNBA players and officials also attended the recent Memorial Day weekend event at the Pentagon hosting members of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, which provides a variety of services to families of fallen service members, Cook noted. Carter is grateful to Silver for the NBA`s ongoing efforts to support service members, veterans and their families, he added.
Service members who attended the event with the secretary are:
-- Air Force 2nd Lt. Trenton High, of Ohio, who will join the 5th Contracting Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, later this month;
-- Army 2nd Lt. Jake Mauer, of Ohio, who is in airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia, to prepare to join the Army Reserve`s 2nd Psychological Operations Group based in Twinsburg, Ohio;
-- Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brentayla Vander, a native of Stone Mountain, Georgia, who is stationed in Ohio as a Navy recruiter; and
-- Marine Corps Sgt. Kaipo C. De Rego, a Hawaii native who is assigned to the Marine Corps Reserve`s 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment at Brook Park, Ohio.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia