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      Patriot bats will honor fallen soldiers

      The Patriot bats are engraved with the soldiers name and rank.

      A rmed Forces week is underway and going strong.

      Friday night at the Civic Center, families of fallen heroes will be honored in the form of the great American pastime.

      Jack Barnes from America Supports You Texas brought in Wes Hazlett from the American Patriot Program to honor these families with special baseball bats. These are the same bats used in Major League Baseball.

      Hazlett's grandfather was a veteran of World War II. He says he was spending sometime with his grandfather one day when the idea came to him.

      "I was watching a baseball game on television, and the national anthem started playing and he started crying, and he says every time I hear this song I can't help but to start crying. So I said there's got to be something we can do through baseball to honor these guys."

      It makes sense that Hazlett who owns a baseball bat company in Minnesota would come up with the idea of giving the veterans a MLB bat. The bats are red,white, and blue, and have a special inscription on them along with the fallen hero's name.

      "Its a baseball bat, but it's about our freedom to play the game of baseball we all need to say thank you we're all indebted in someway.

      "You're just taken back, you think about the purity, we get to enjoy a game of baseball because of what these men and women are doing overseas and places all over the world for our country," said Hazlett.

      On Friday night, Hazlett and the other bat companies that helped to make them, will be on hand at the Civic Center to honor these families and personally express their appreciation.

      "I don't feel worthy to be standing in front of all those people, but I'm going to grab that podium with both hands and say thank you. I can't wait to do that."

      At the Friday night ceremony 86 bats will be handed out. Each family will also receive a letter from Jim Craig, the goalie on the 1980 U.S. Miracle Hockey Team.