Famous Dave’s helps July 4th Diamondbacks game

John Erlandson of Famous Dave's and Wilbur the mascot

John Erlandson of Famous Dave's and Wilbur the mascot



For the third consecutive year, FOX Sports Arizona will honor the United States military with its July 4th “This One’s For You” telecast. This year, it takes place during the Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies telecast and coverage begins on Saturday, July 4, at 4:30 p.m. with the Miller Lite Diamondbacks Live pre-game show. The network will be on location at the Arizona National Guard’s 161st Refueling Wing at Sky Harbor Airport, where it will produce both its pre-game and post-game shows live during a Fourth of July party.

“This One’s For You” was created to offer the network’s thanks to the brave men and women who currently serve and have served the United States of America in the military and to remind everyone about the sacrifices these heroes are still making in the Middle East.

Nearly 250 people are expected to come to the event at the 161st Air National Guard Refueling Wing. Families of fallen Soldiers, families from the Arizona Army National Guard’s 123rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (currently in Iraq), Soldiers and Airmen who have previously been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Phoenix Area Air National Guard Color Guard and the Patriot Guard Riders will be in attendance.

A satellite feed from Balad, Iraq, will allow Arizona National Guard Soldiers to interact with their families back in Phoenix throughout the event. FOX Sports Arizona will conduct live interviews with the 123rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment who will be watching the D-backs/Rockies game at its base when it begins at 3 a.m. there. Meanwhile, American troops worldwide will also be able to celebrate July 4 by watching the D-backs & Rockies live via the American Forces Network, which is making FOX Sports Arizona’s telecast available to Department of Defense military, civilian employees and their families stationed overseas and aboard U.S. Navy ships at sea.

This Arizona National Guard unit will watch the game in Balad from the 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs Office Broadcast Studio. While deployed, the Soldiers of the 123rd MPAD provide Public Affairs support to the 3d Sustainment Command Expeditionary. The 3d ESC is responsible for providing all logistical support throughout the Iraqi theater of operations. This is the second time the 123rd MPAD has deployed in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The soldiers of the 123rd MPAD are from the following communities: Chandler, Flagstaff, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Prescott, Scottsdale, Tempe, Tucson, and Yuma. The unit is also augmented by soldiers from Amsterdam, N.Y.; Los Angeles, Reno and San Diego. More than 5,000 Arizona Army and Air National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have answered the call and been ordered to federal active duty in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom since September 2001.

FOX Sports Arizona’s D-backs announcers Daron Sutton and Tom Candiotti will be able to interact with the troops in Iraq and their families in Phoenix during the game telecast. Brad Steinke, Jody Jackson and Ken Phelps will host the pre and post-game shows at the 161st Refueling Wing and Mark McClune will be on site in Denver for the network’s coverage as well. The D-backs Rally-backs crew and Baxter will also be at the base to entertain the families with the tee ball games, a inflatable speed pitch machine and raffle giveaways.

Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que is donating all the food and drinks that will be served to the families at this event and this effort is another part of its wide-ranging commitment to the military. The local franchise is offering a year-long promotion on Mondays in which all Famous Dave’s Valley locations will provide anyone with a military ID or family military ID a 20% discount on their meal, at any location, any time until December 31, 2009. Famous Dave’s restaurants in the Valley are located in Chandler at 3250 West Frye Road; Peoria at 16148 North 83rd Avenue and Mesa at 1011 Dobson Road. For more information www.famousdavesbbq.com.

For this special telecast, all of FOX Sports Arizona’s advertisers are contributing to the production by agreeing to remove all of their sponsored elements within the telecast in order to allow for as much time as possible for the troop’s involvement.

“This is our way of saying thanks to the men and women in the United States military who serve our country so bravely in not only the Middle East, but around the world,” said Mike Connelly, FOX Sports Arizona Senior Vice President & General Manager. “We hope it allows them to escape the realities of what they are facing and let them and their families connect on this very special day for our country.”

Media wanting to gain access to the base for interviews, photographs or live shots during the event need to have prior approval and should contact Major Paul Aguirre in the Arizona National Guard’s Public Affairs office at 602-267-2550. The 161st Air Refueling Wing is located at 3200 East Old Tower Road in Phoenix, AZ 85034 and is just south of Sky Harbor Airport. You can only access the base from 24th Street. Follow Old Tower Road until it comes to a dead end in front of the base.

FOX Sports Arizona televises the most regional sports action in the state and is the exclusive cable television home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Coyotes, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Phoenix Mercury. FOX Sports Arizona is currently seen in 2.8 million households in Arizona & New Mexico and can also be seen across the country via home satellite services.

Contacts: Brett Hansen, FOX Sports Arizona, 602-251-8902
Major Paul Aguirre, Arizona National Guard Public Affairs, 602-267-2550

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