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NEWS | May 20, 2024

Combat veteran honored by Chicago Cubs during military salute

By Staff Sgt. David Lietz 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command

Baseball fans cheered for Master Sgt. Robert Maresh, G-3 Mobilization Cell, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command, who was honored during the Chicago Cubs’ military salute on their Friday game versus the Pittsburg Pirates, May 17, 2024, at Wrigley Field.

Maresh served 11 years on active duty and then 17 years with the Army Reserve, where he continues to serve.

“I’ve been to 19 different countries during my military service. I enlisted at 24 years of age in Lansing, Michigan. I was a tanker and a military police officer,” said Maresh.

The Iraqi Freedom veteran served on three combat tours and four deployments to Kosovo, along with overseas duty in Bulgaria, Italy, Greece, Germany, and France.

Following the on-field recognition, Maresh reflected on what it meant to receive the applause of thousands from grateful baseball fans.

“I think they were cheering for the uniform. I was honored to be here and be recognized, said Maresh.

I feel the recognition is not only for me, but for all the military people. I’m part of something bigger than me,” said Maresh. “All of my brothers and sisters in uniform.”

Baseball fans were moved during the salute as well.

“I love to see it. It hits an emotional chord,” said Jeff Tudor of Chicago.

And Chicago resident Ann Hermes Tudor agreed.

“Every time I see the military salute it’s very moving,” she said. “And I appreciate and am grateful for their service.”

Maresh continues serving in the U.S. Army Reserve today and shared what he most enjoys about it.

“I like the structure, uniformity and I love being with the Soldiers,” he said. “We need the military to defend our country. After 28 years of service, I’ve got a lot out of the military.”

He additionally had some advice for young people considering military service.

“Find out what you want in life and then you can choose what branch you would like to join,” Maresh said.

Maresh holds many military awards including the Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, nine Army Commendation medals, the silver category for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge and the German Schutzenschnur Badge for proficiency in rifle and pistol marksmanship.

“The one personal award that I cannot wear on my uniform is that I brought all of my Soldiers home after three combat deployments,” said Maresh.

The father of three daughters and two sons reflected on his time in service while watching the remainder of the game from his seat, near the third base line. He shared that if he had to do it all over again, he would have joined the Army with one change.

“I would have enlisted at 18 instead of 24,” Maresh said.