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U.S.S. Billings crew joins Billings Mustangs at Dehler Park

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Posted at 9:04 AM, Jul 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-03 11:04:44-04

The United States Navy, baseball and the Fourth of July weekend.

All that added to a bit of Americana at Dehler Park on Friday night.

Five crew members from the U.S.S. Billings threw out honorary first pitches before the Mustangs game with the Great Falls Voyagers.

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Before the game, the sailors and the Friends of the U.S.S. Billings held a ceremony at the seat in center field to honor prisoners of war and those missing in action.

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"Anytime we get an opportunity to recognize those who have gone before us, it's a special opportunity," said Commander Jeffrey Gerring of the U.S.S. Billings. "Not all of our sailors and Marines come back from the missions they go on. Being able to come out here and represent them and give our support for them is really special to us. I was stationed here in 2010, I was the (commanding offficer) with the reserve center over on Gabel Road. "

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"My wife's here with me and we're kind of driving around, all our local haunts. And so to be able to come back to the city, and see it again, it's amazing. The people here are warm and friendly and probably the most hospitable down to earth people I've ever met in my life so it's really great to be here."

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The crew arrived Thursday and has plans on Saturday to see the Beartooth Highway and the Home of Champions Rodeo in Red Lodge.