HOUSTON, TX - On Saturday, May 16, the Astros and Whataburger are teaming up to present Military Appreciation Night at Minute Maid Park. The Astros will host over 1,000 active duty military members, veterans and their families at the ballpark as they take on the Toronto Blue Jays for a 6:10 p.m. contest. The Astros are currently in first place in the AL West Division with an 21-13 record, which is tied for the best record in the American League.
"Whataburger is proud to continue our partnership with the Astros for the third year by sponsoring Military Appreciation Night," said Whataburger Regional Director of Operations Mark Brown. "These men and women have fought to keep our country safe and we are honored to recognize these true heroes."
Prior to the start of Saturday's game, a special pregame ceremony will take place on the field celebrating the contributions of our nation's military. Corporal Josh Yarbrough from the U.S. Marine Corps will throw out the night's ceremonial first pitch and will receive a year's worth of free Whataburger. Corporal Yarbrough is a third generation Marine, and served three deployments in Iraq, Okinawa, the Philippines and Afghanistan. It was in his last deployment that Corporal Yarbrough suffered the loss of both of his legs and his right index finger after saving one of his fellow Marines from an IED explosion.
Additionally, several members from various branches of the U.S. military will participate in a flag ceremony taking place in the outfield during the National Anthem. Sergeant Promise Harris of the 147th Reconnaissance Wing of the Texas Air National Guard will perform God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch.
"We are privileged to honor our nation's greatest treasures, our military, " said Astros Foundation and Community Relations Executive Director Twila Carter. "They have sacrificed in ways that only those who have not walked in their shoes can only imagine, and we are very proud to recognize these brave and deserving individuals."
Whataburger has focused on its fresh, made-to-order burgers and friendly customer service since 1950 when Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger as a small roadside burger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas. Dobson gave his restaurant a name he hoped to hear customers say every time they took a bite of his made-to-order burgers: "What a burger!" Within the first week, people lined up around the block for his 25 cent, 100 percent beef burgers served on five-inch buns. Today, the company is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, with more than 770 locations in 10 states with sales of more than $1 billion annually.