Veterans react to Myrtle Beach Pelicans leaving 13 seats empty for service members killed in Afghanistan

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Myrtle Beach veterans are glad the Pelicans are leaving 13 seats empty for the rest of the season in honor of the service members killed in Afghanistan.

“For the remainder of the season, these 13 seats will be left vacated in honor of the 13 fallen US service members who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country,” the Pelicans posted to social media.

The seats have photos of each service member who was killed with a yellow ribbon on the seat and a beer in the cupholder.

Kristin Call, the assistant general manager, told News13 the team saw several local restaurants honoring the service members who died and immediately wanted to do something.

“It’s all about honoring these folks and the lives and the service that they provided to this country and if this is the small part that we can do for it then we’re happy to do it,” Call said.

She said they’ve had several visitors and workers thank them for doing this.

“It’s very humbling to know that this organization cares about veterans and those we’ve lost,” said Sofia Valenti, who is serving in the U.S. Army National Guard and works for the Pelicans.

U.S. Navy veteran Jim Mayhew said it’s about time to honor the heroes.

“I mean, they’re putting their lives on the line for us everyday and it’s great that they’re honoring them,” he said.

U.S. Air Force veteran, Hugh Edwards, who served in the Vietnam War, said people who came back from that war weren’t even recognized.

“This is a big progress and it’s very good for veterans and active duty soldiers,” Edwards said. “It means a lot because it means there are people that are still concerned about our veterans and our active duty service people and that’s a great thing. I think all of the memorials that have been done throughout the country are just very special and they make every veteran feel very well.”

The Pelicans last game of the season is Sept. 19 and the seats will remain open until then.

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