Sporting Kansas City will honor the service and sacrifice of military members and their families on Saturday when the club hosts its fourth annual Sporting Salutes at Children’s Mercy Park.
Held in partnership with match sponsor Hallmark, Sporting Salutes is an immersive military appreciation night that recognizes service personnel across all branches of the United States Armed Forces. The event will run in conjunction with Sporting’s home game on Saturday against FC Dallas at 7:30 p.m. CT.
A limited number of tickets for the Sporting Salutes match are available at SeatGeek.com, including Coca-Cola Family Four Packs that bundle four general admission tickets in the South Stand, four Coca-Cola products and four Domino's pizzas.
This year, Sporting Salutes will welcome military medical personnel who have served on the frontlines battling COVID-19 in Kansas, Missouri and beyond. Five military honorees will be honored during an on-field ceremony before kickoff, featuring representation from the U.S. Navy, the Kansas National Guard and the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
All supporters are invited to wear camo on Saturday night in support of military service members. Upon entering through the Children’s Mercy Park gates under camouflage netting, guests will have the opportunity to explore five military vehicles stationed across the Mazuma Plaza. Fans can visit SportingStyle locations inside the stadium to shop from a variety of camo merchandise while supplies last, including the limited-edition Sporting Salutes Camo Training Top and Scarf of the Match, two different Salute to Service caps and the Camo Top Koozie.
Retired Navy Petty Officer First Class Generald Wilson, an acclaimed gospel singer who has performed at premier sporting events across the country for the last decade, will sing the National Anthem on Saturday. Wilson’s Anthem will be accompanied by a stadium flyover featuring four UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the 108th Aviation Regiment, Kansas Army National Guard out of Topeka and Salina, Kansas.
2021 Sporting Salutes Military Honorees
Lieutenant Erica Johnson, U.S. Navy – A member of the Navy for 28 years, Lt. Johnson played an integral role in the preparation of hospital rooms during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. She was awarded the Armed Forces Service Medal for her actions. Lt. Johnson, who has coordinated COVID-19 vaccinations for military members throughout the Midwest, currently serves as a Medical Officer Recruiter in Kansas City where she helps Navy applicants prepare for medical careers.
Technical Sergeant Shawn Allen, Kansas Air National Guard – Tech Sgt. Allen has served for 15 years in the Kansas Air National Guard and is currently assigned as an Aerospace Medicine Service Technician in the 190th Medical Group located in Topeka, Kansas. Since April 2020, he has volunteered for four COVID-19 response missions throughout Kansas. He also works as a Health Technician at Leavenworth VA Hospital.
Lieutenant Colonel Gleb Gluhovsky, Kansas Army National Guard – Lt. Col. Gluhovsky has served for 21 years in the Kansas Army National Guard and is currently assigned as an Aeromedical Physician Assistant to the First Assault Helicopter Battalion of the 108th Aviation Regiment and the Medical Detachment located in Topeka and Lenexa, Kansas. Since April 2020, he has volunteered for three COVID-19 response missions throughout Kansas. He also works as an Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant at the Overland Park Regional Medical Center.
Corporal William S. Ridley – Cpl. Ridley joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2018 and was attached to the Unit Deployment Program in Okinawa, Japan, as part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit that conducted exercises in the Pacific. He was then assigned to the Kansas City Military Entrance Processing Station, where he has directly contributed to its awareness, preparation and surveillance actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Major Jennifer Waterman, U.S. Air Force – Maj. Jennifer Waterman is a U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeon assigned to the 303d Fighter Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster, Missouri, where she is the lone physician tasked with the medical care of 50 A-10 fighter pilots. Since beginning her military service in 2003, Maj. Waterman has deployed to combat three times. During the pandemic in 2020, she was deployed to Afghanistan and navigated the healthcare of 30 pilots and 200 support personnel.
Over the course of the night, Sporting will recognize an additional eight individuals who serve the country, including four honorary members of the stretcher crew for the match and the four Black Hawk helicopter pilots who execute the stadium flyover.
For supporters watching from home, Saturday's match will air live on Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, BallySports.com and the new Bally Sports app with three hours of coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT. Listeners can also catch the action on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.
Sporting Salutes at Children’s Mercy Park
- Aug. 6, 2017 – Honoring Kansas and Missouri Gold Star Families
- Aug. 25, 2018 – Honoring World War II veterans
- Aug. 10, 2019 – Honoring Purple Heart recipients
- July 31, 2021 – Honoring military medical personnel