Military men and women honored in '4th of July' Fireflies game

Military men and women honored in '4th of July' Fireflies game

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) -- It was the "Fourth of Fireflies" Wednesday afternoon and evening as hundreds came out to celebrate Independence Day.

Complete with star-spangled jerseys worn by the home team, the 4th of July celebration at Spirit Communications Park was one many had been looking forward to.

One fan in the stands, Karen Volpe, says she and her husband come every year.

When asked what they looked forward to, Volpe said, "Being with the people and the crowd, and the excitement of the crowd," said Volpe.

"The game!" her husband interjected, his eyes intent on the game between the Columbia Fireflies and the Greenville Drive.

One veteran, Ronald Ross, who was walking around and enjoying the sights, says it means a lot that people take the time to honor his almost 25 year service in the Air Force during his favorite pastime.

"It makes you feel good because you put your life on the line to serve and protect your country," said Ross. "And that means a lot."

A short distance down from where he was taking in the sights, a stand was put up by Operation Thank You for patrons to send cards and make donations to those overseas.

"Even though the soldiers aren't in the news a lot, they're still out there," said Shelley Bohlman, who started the organization with her veteran husband out of their own basement. "They're still fighting for our freedom. We just want them to know we appreciate them."

After the 4th inning, two veterans were honored on the field for their services, with a stadium full of applause and standing ovations.

And, of course, the night ended with one of the biggest fireworks shows in Columbia.

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