The USTA Military Outreach team coordinated a number of exciting events that took place during the 2012 US Open
. These events included the introduction of a new PSA featuring Dr. Jill Biden, inviting military families to Arthur Ashe Kids Day, a Military Appreciation Day at the US Open, SPC Ryan McIntosh representing Wounded Warriors as a US Open ball person, and military representation on opening night and at the Women’s Finals.
The USTA invited approximately 80 guests to attend Arthur Ashe Kids Day and participate in activities and to attend the live music performances in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Family members of the New York Army National Guard, the Coast Guard, and Soldier’s families from Ft. Hamilton attended the event and had a chance to meet members of the West Point Men’s and Women’s tennis teams. They also had the opportunity to play tennis led by the West Point tennis team’s instruction.
On Opening Night of the US Open, a US Marine Corps Color Guard presented colors and unveiled the flag on court before the evening session. The USTA also provided 100 promenade tickets to members of the US Marine Corps from the 6th Communications Battalion in Brooklyn, N.Y. for a great opening night session highlighted by Roger Federer.
Throughout the entire tournament media outlets would recognize the work of Wounded Warrior Ryan McIntosh, a US Open ball person. Ryan lost his leg in 2010 while serving in Afghanistan as he and his unit were sweeping through a mine field.
He was informed of the ball person tryout while attending a Wounded Warrior tennis clinic in Colorado during the Department of Defense’s signature sporting event for wounded service members, Warrior Games. Some of the media outlets that covered Ryan at the US Open included: USOpen.org, CNN, ESPN, the Today Show, CBS and Fox.
Have a look at Ryan's meetings with the mainstream media at the 2012 US Open:
On September 3 the USTA hosted Military Appreciation Day inviting Wounded Warriors and military leaders to attend the US Open in a hospitality suite. The Wounded Warriors were from Walter Reed National Medical Center, Balboa Navy Medical Center, and other military medical facilities across the country. USTA Military Outreach partners Freedom Alliance and Navy Safe Harbor Foundation arranged for travel and lodging for the service members. The guests had a chance to watch both Ana Ivanovic and Serena Williams play singles matches and were honored on the JumboTron at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
After her match, Serena Williams autographed tennis balls from her match for each service member. On this day the USTA also hosted military leaders in a separate hospitality suite. One of the officials even caught an autographed Serena Williams’s ball she hit into the stands. The USTA also invited approximately 40 military service members, veterans and their families to Arthur Ashe Stadium to sit in the promenade section. These military families from Naval Weapons Station Earle, New Jersey Veterans Affairs, and Navy Safe Harbor enjoyed a great day of tennis and received US Open hats as souvenirs.
The USTA also unveiled the Military Outreach PSA featuring Dr. Jill Biden on the JumboTron during Military Appreciation Day for Joining Forces, the national initiative started in 2011 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden seeks to inspire, educate and spark action from all sectors of society in support of veterans, service members, and military families and now is teaming with USTA Military Outreach.
The USTA also hosted Our Dad's Flag
during the US Open. Our Dad's Flag is a Cassidy family project in patriotism, to serve as a silver lining during their loved one's deployment. The flag continues to make its way across the United States and even across oceans, as the flag was recently held by Team USA Olympians Michael Phelps, John Orozco, Donovan Ford and Queen Underwood during their quests to win gold at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
While in New York, the flag made its way into the hands of the aforementioned McIntosh and 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick before his retirement at the event (pictured here), plus United States Davis Cup team member Sam Querrey. Also to hold the flag proud were USTA President & Chairman of the Board Jon Vegosen, USTA Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director Gordon Smith, USTA Vice President Katrina Adams and Chanda Rubin, Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors.
The Military events at the US Open concluded before the Women’s and Men’s Finals. The Air Force Color Guard presented the colors before both of the match and a flyover took place by the 334th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC before the Women’s final. In addition members of the USMC unfurled the giant American Flag across the court for both ceremonies.