March 21, 2012 -- Mayor Parker and Houston Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane today invited all Houstonians to come downtown Saturday, April 7, 2012 for a welcome home parade honoring returning Iraq veterans. The parade, sponsored by the City of Houston in partnership with the Astros 2012 opening weekend festivities, will step off from the corner of Texas and San Jacinto at 4 p.m. and then proceed east on Texas to Crawford and then north (left) on Crawford to Congress, ending at Minute Maid Park.
"I want to thank Jim Crane and the Astros for joining with the city in planning this event," said Mayor Parker. "It is an opportunity to support and thank the men and women who have sacrificed their lives and time away from loved ones to preserve our freedom. We owe them a debt of gratitude and recognition that their service is appreciated. Please come show your support."
"America and our military have always had a special place in the heart of baseball fans throughout the country and especially here in Houston," said Crane said, "It's only fitting that we will celebrate these brave men and women with a parade that culminates with a ceremony at Minute Maid Park. We are honored to be asked by Mayor Parker and the City to be a part of this special event."
At the end of the parade, the troops will proceed inside Minute Maid Park for a special on-field ceremony just prior to the Astros 6:05 PM game. The program will feature a proclamation from Mayor Parker and representatives from the military. In addition, Chase, in partnership with Operation Homefront, will present one Iraq war veteran with the gift of a mortgage-free home. The recipient will be a veteran who has applied through the Operation Homefront application process.
The Astros will provide free tickets to the uniformed parade participants and their immediate families. Ticket distribution will be coordinated through the Mayor's Office of Veteran's Affairs. Additionally, the Astros are offering discounted tickets to friends and extended family members, parade participants and veteran's organizations through the link www.astros.com/troops. Discount ticket information will be posted to this page in the coming days.