Indian Wells, CA -- INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - A spotlight shined on the Combat Center Color Guard as they proudly held the National and Marine Corps colors. The sounds of cheering fans echoed throughout the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, where television cameras internationally broadcasted the presentation of the colors.
The 14th annual Banque Nationale de Paris, Paribas Open’s Salute to Heroes featured Combat Center Marines and Color Guard at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif., March 11, 2016.
Gunnery Sgt. Antonio Soto, company gunnery sergeant, Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School, flipped the coin at the start of the final tennis match. The Combat Center Color Guard presented the colors and more than 50 Marines from MCCES, led by Soto, displayed an American flag that spanned the main tennis court.
“When I was a kid we would go out to sporting events and see the flag being displayed and actually being part of it really means a lot to me, ” said Pfc. Simon McGinny, student, MCCES. “Also being out in the community and doing something like this is really awesome.”
The Salute to Heroes ceremony took place after professional tennis players Serena Williams’ and Yulia Putintseva’s match in which Williams was victorious. The match and ceremony was broadcasted on various sports channels.
Prior to the start of the match, Marines enjoyed a free meal from a food stand of their choice, where many attendees of the open stopped and thanked them for their service.
“It’s always a blessing to get a group of Marines and showcase their motivation,” Soto said. “I think that this group of Marines did the base and Marine Corps justice with the professionalism they displayed.”