DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --
A D-M Airman athlete was chosen to represent the U.S. Air Force for the U.S. Military All-Stars baseball team.
Senior Airman Russell LewisPablo, 25th Operational Weather Squadron weather forecaster and resource protection specialist, is one of five Airmen who will be playing for the team.
"I feel extremely blessed to get the opportunity to play for the U.S. Military All-Stars, not only to represent the Air Force, but represent the military as a whole," said LewisPablo. "It brings the different services together as one group, playing as a team and representing our country as opposed to just our respective services."
Service members apply by filling out an online application complete with biography, statistics and player history.
In years past, players would travel to one location to try out. This year, players were able to try out via video correspondence.
LewisPablo, who is also a member of the D-M Mustangs baseball team, received help from a teammate to create a video of him taking batting, infield and outfield practice.
He was contacted by the U.S. Military All-Stars coaching staff shortly after submitting the video and was told he had made the team.
This will be his first year competing with the U.S. Military All-Stars. As a utility infielder, he primarily plays first and second base, however he is willing to play anywhere he is needed.
Players are granted permissive temporary duty assignments to play, but must pay their own way for uniforms, travel, lodging and meals. The team website is set up to allow for donations that go towards the players' expenses.
The team reports to spring training in Lacy, Washington, June 7-11.
They will play 15 games throughout June against independent league teams in Washington and Oregon during their first tour of the season.
Each player wears a jersey that corresponds with a particular military event.
LewisPablo will be wearing "Guam" with the number "44" representing the Second Battle of Guam in 1944. He is especially proud to wear the jersey that ties to his heritage, being that his father is a native of Guam.
Before each game, a pregame ceremony will be held featuring the folding of the American flag.
"It's a very select group of guys that do it every year and it is really more than just baseball," LewisPablo said. "It gets communities involved, it gets veterans in the local areas involved and it fosters a lot of spirit out there."
To find out more about the U.S. Military All-Stars baseball team, visit www.usmilitaryallstars.com