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On Monday evening, Ellensburg’s Rotary Park was home to more than just two baseball teams.

It was home for soldiers and veterans for all the branches of the U.S. military.

Fans gathered and watched the U.S. Military All Stars baseball team play an exhibition game against the CWBC Hawks, a summer high school baseball team based out of Yakima.

For the last month, the U.S. Military All Stars have been touring Washington stopping in various cities to honor all the men and women that have served their country.

The team was created in 1990 after President George H. W. Bush visited the National Aviation Museum and talked about the positive impact baseball had on morale in World War II.

Over the last 25 years, the team has travelled through 45 states and to 12 countries playing all levels of competition.

“We are the only team like it in the world where we are made up of all branches of service on one team,” said USMA commander Tank Stone, who recruits the players on the All-Star team. “We are about honoring those who have worn a uniform in defense of our country.”

Fifteen players and one coach suited up in special camouflage uniforms and played to a 12-9 win over the Hawks. Four of the five military branches were on display including Army, Navy, Air Force and the Marine Corps.

Stone said he had a Coast Guard player on the team but he was called away on duty. The team started with 35-40 players and slowly started to diminish as the tour continued.

“We are down to a skeleton crew because a lot of guys are being deployed right now,” Stone said.

Pitcher Travis Wolf, who was born and raised in Sacramento, Calif., and after college at New Mexico Highlands University, enlisted in the Navy.

“I was stationed for four years in Japan before transferring to San Diego,” Wolf said. “From there I transferred to Virginia Beach, where I live today.”

The 15 All Stars who played in the game came from all over the country including New York, Texas, Missouri and Colorado.

The event started 30 minutes before the first pitch to present the colors and a flag to Ellensburg resident and Army veteran Donald Morris.

Morris has lived in Ellensburg since 1990 and during his time in the Army fought in the Korean War.

“Anytime you are presented a flag that is folded like that, it’s emotional,” Morris said. “I really felt honored.”

The game started with the Hawks scoring five runs in the top of the first inning.

The All Stars responded in the bottom half with three runs of their own, but still trailed for the first five innings

In the sixth, the All Stars took the lead scoring five runs on six hits and never looked back.

Although the team has been successful on the field, Stone said it is not just about winning.

“Jimmy Stewart went into the Air Force and made Hollywood popular, Elvis went into the Army and made singing popular and Joe DiMaggio brought baseball into the service,” Stone said. “Since the ‘90s we have been in a mode where we need to show the community what we do.”

Admission to the game was $5 where the profits benefit Wounded Warriors, a nonprofit group that offers services for wounded veterans.

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