Cincinnati police, firefighters take part in 'Badge of Honor' - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Cops, firefighters face off in baseball game for charity

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Cincinnati police officers and firefighters battled it out on the diamond Thursday evening in a friendly rivalry all to benefit our veterans.

They were raising money to get World War II and Korean War veterans on an honor flight to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials, and to say "thank you" for serving.

It was all part of the second annual Badge of Honor baseball game held at Western Hills High School.

 "We are a fraternity between the two of us, the fire and police departments.  So, the game itself is awesome for us, we like to get together and we have a lot of fun with each other, and we're all just happy to be a part of a great cause in the Honor Flight program," said Nate Young of the Cincinnati Police Department.

The money raised will benefit the Honor Flight Tri-State program.  This year, they're supporting five honor flights that'll take nearly 400 veterans to Washington.

"It's all about the veterans.  The fundraisers just go on and on because it costs us about $450 per veteran to take them on their free trip.  It's free to them.  But, that's what we do all year long.  We raise funds to take the vets," said Cheryl Popp, director of the Honor Flight Tri-State.

They want to give veterans the chance to do something they otherwise may not have the chance to do with the soldiers they've served with.

"These guys were all in their 80s and 90s when the memorial was built.  So, they didn't have the means to go, or the inclination to get on a plane by themselves.  But, when we do it together, it's kind of like boot camp all over again.  They have a great time.  The camaraderie just comes right up, and they're 18-year old kids," added Popp.

Both the police and fire departments have veterans wearing their uniforms every day.  For them, it was something that didn't take too much recruiting to get guys involved.

"A lot of our department members are veterans.  Some of the guys on this team are Gulf War veterans, Iraq veterans.  For us to contribute any way we could to their cause, World War II, is huge to these guys," said Tedd Schaffer of the Cincinnati Fire Department.

The Cincinnati Police Department won Thursday's game by a score of 5-3.

To find out how you can be part of an honor flight, visit www.honorflighttristate.org.

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