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Athletes of Distinction

San Jacinto baseball honors military members, veterans

HOUSTON – The San Jacinto College baseball team hosted its Military Service Appreciation Day on Saturday, April 6, in a double header against conference rival Galveston College.

Current and former military members were recognized during the first game, and the San Jacinto College players wore special camouflage uniforms, donated by Ms. Mary F. Fayle, grandmother of San Jacinto College freshman pitcher Conrad Ramquist, and Ms. Rosa Johnson, grandmother of Marine veteran Dustin Fleming.

“Dustin’s grandmother is a dear friend of mine,” said Ms. Fayle. “We thought this would be a wonderful way to honor him and a great thing to do for the San Jacinto College baseball team.”

Fleming, originally from Baytown, Texas, threw out the first pitch. A two-sport scholarship athlete at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., Fleming enlisted in the Marine Corps following the tragic events of 9/11. He trained at several bases in California, and was assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. In January of 2006, he was transferred to the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion and received orders for deployment to the Middle East and Camp Fallujah. As a reconnaissance team member, Fleming was on the front lines leading soldiers into battle. The Battalion’s task was helping the locals keep control of the city from insurgents.

While on foot patrol near Farristown, the Battalion was ambushed by a sniper. Fleming was gunned down and lost his leg. After many months of therapy in Maryland and San Antonio, he has a new, prosthetic leg, and is playing baseball with the VetSports and Wounded Warrior organizations.

“Part of our role in this community is to give back,” said SJC head coach Tom Arrington, now in his 12th season at the helm of the San Jacinto College program. “This is just one small way we can do that – by recognizing the sacrifices that our military service members and their families have given so that we can play baseball. We are excited about hosting this game in honor of our military members and their families, and we are extremely thankful to Ms. Fayle and Ms. Johnson for their generous donation of our camouflage uniforms.”

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