Officials from Fox Sports Midwest accept the National Guard Center of Influence Award at Busch Stadium. From right is Sgt. 1st Class Kyle Routh, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Cook, Staff Sgt. David Aubuchon and Maj. Jamie Melchert, all of whom served with the 1138th Transportation Company. Accepting the award for Fox is analyst Al Hrabosky, director Tom Mee, producer Brian McCann and marketing director David Pokorny. (Submitted photo)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The Missouri National Guard has recognized Fox Sports Midwest, the television network of the St. Louis Cardinals, with a Center of Influence Award for the network's outstanding support of Guardsmen deployed overseas.
The award was recently presented to network officials at Busch Stadium by Maj. Jamie Melchert, of Columbia, former commander of the St. Louis-based 1138th Transportation Company.
The 1138th recently returned from a dangerous, 10-month convoy operations mission in Afghanistan.
While deployed last year, the 1138th and other deployed Guardsmen were saluted during a Fox Sports Midwest broadcast of a St. Louis Cardinals game. Dubbed, "This One's for You," the broadcast included a live satellite feed from Afghanistan, allowing soldier family members in the stadium to see their loved ones on the scoreboard video screen. The broadcast also featured on-camera interviews with Guardsmen and family members, who sat in a special section of the stadium.
"The Center of Influence Award is recognition provided by National Guard Bureau as part of its Freedom Salute for returning Guard units," Melchert explained. "Specifically, it's a way for a deployed unit to say 'thank you' to those who supported them in an above and beyond manner while they were overseas. We selected Fox Sports Midwest for their overwhelming support and interest during deployment of the 1138th."
Joining Melchert for the presentation was Sgt. 1st Class Kyle Routh, Staff Sgt. David Aubuchon, and Sgt. 1st Class Michael Cook. Routh and Aubuchon were convoy commanders in Afghanistan, while Cook was the 1138th First Sergeant. Representing Fox Sports at the award ceremony was broadcast analyst and former Cardinal pitcher Al Hrabosky, director Tom Mee, producer Brian McCann, and marketing director David Pokorny.
"We're thrilled with the honor but we feel compelled to do this type of thing," Pokorny said. "From the staff at Busch Stadium to the photographers, the camera operators, the directors and producers, everyone is highly motivated to salute the troops because we want to."
The 1138th Transportation Company is headquartered at historic Jefferson Barracks in south St. Louis County and is a subordinate unit of the 311th Brigade Support Battalion, based in Lexington.
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