BOSTON -- Commander, Submarine Group 2 and four Sailors assigned to the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720), who all hail from Massachusetts, were recognized at the Boston Red Sox vs. Yankees Major Baseball League game at Fenway Park in Boston July 7-8.
As part of the Red Sox Military Recognition Program, Rear Adm. Rick Breckenridge, commander, Submarine Group 2 attended the Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees Major League Baseball game July 7 and was recognized during the fourth inning. Four Sailors from USS Pittsburgh attended the Red Sox vs. Yankees game July 8. The Sailors stood on the field during the the national anthem, prior to the start of the game, and were also recognized during the fourth inning.
Fire Control Technician 1st Class (SS) Derek Dowen, who has served aboard Pittsburgh for nearly six years, was accompanied to the Red Sox game by three of his fellow shipmates.
"It means a lot to all of us and we are all very excited about it," said Dowen. "We are all from the area and are avid Red Sox fans."
Dowen and his fellow shipmates collectively have been fans of the Red Sox for more than 80 years. He added that his mother, Carol, arranged the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him and his fellow shipmates to participate in several of the Red Sox military recognition events July 8.
"I'm excited that the Red Sox allowed us on the field to take part in the national anthem," said Dowen, who added that it will be an honor to represent the U.S. Navy and the submarine force during his favorite team's game.
Carol, who fought back tears when describing what this type of recognition means to her and her family, emphasized the pride she has for her son and the men assigned to Pittsburgh.
"I'm just glad that it all worked out because they deserve the recognition," said Carol, who added that her son is a bigger fan than her and his recognition with the Red Sox's rival - the Yankees - couldn't have been planned better.
Pittsburgh recently returned from a six-month deployment where they conducted maritime security and theater security cooperation efforts in the 5th and 6th Fleet area of operations. Pittsburgh, commissioned Nov. 23, 1985, was built by General Dynamics Electric Boat Division, and is the fourth American warship to be named for the city of Pittsburgh.