The Thunder will hold its fifth annual Military Appreciation Night when OKC faces Washington at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The nation's troops and veterans will be honored, and festivities will include a special Thunder Cares auction and raffle, in-game recognition of military personnel and a T-shirt offer.
Nearly 500 military personnel and families will be in attendance, including 80 soldiers and family members from the Oklahoma National Guard's 45th Fires Brigade.
As part of its Devon Community Heroes program, the Thunder will honor six military heroes, including three who lost their lives. Families of these six heroes will receive scholarships through the Folds of Honor Foundation, a Tulsa-based organization that supports the families of killed or wounded soldiers across the country. The scholarships have been funded by donations from Thunder fans collected during last October's preseason game in Tulsa.
The Thunder Cares Foundation will hold a special auction and raffle during the game, benefiting the Folds of Honor Foundation. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase a Thunder “Rise Up for Freedom” T-shirt for $12 at the Thunder Shop outside Section 120. With each T-shirt purchased, the Thunder will donate an identical T-shirt to troops stationed overseas.
The Thunder will collect and mail letters of support to troops stationed abroad. During the game, fans can stop by the table outside Section 120 to write letters of thanks and encouragement. Prior to the game, Chaplain (Maj.) Brad Hanna of the Oklahoma National Guard will lead the invocation, and members of the Oklahoma National Guard will present the colors.
The halftime presentation will feature the Southeast High School JROTC silent drill team. During their exhibition, the Thunder will honor all Oklahomans killed in action overseas in the last 10 years.