NASIC Airman recognized as Cincinnati Reds Hometown Hero

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Wiseman
  • National Air and Space Intelligence Center Public Affairs

The cheer of 22,000 fans erupted at the Great American Ball Park during a Cincinnati Reds home game last month, but this applause was not for an outstanding play or for a player during the game.

On September 28, Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds recognized Maj. Pedro Munoz as a Hometown Hero during the second inning against the Pittsburg Pirates. Munoz serves as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee in the National Air and Space Intelligence Center’s Information Exploitation Squadron as well as a Department of Defense Civilian senior analyst with the Space and Missile Forces Group.

During home game stints, the Cincinnati Reds select service members to attend a game, be recognized and enjoy the event with their friends and families. The baseball organization chooses a member, past or present, from a pool of nominees generated by the local community.

Munoz was nominated for the honor by a fellow community volunteer, U.S. Air Force Col. (retired) Rafael Rodriguez.

“I met Munoz through our community work together. He is very committed to the community and always engaged. He is a very sharp and motivated officer,” Rodriguez said. “When the Cincinnati Reds reached out to me for a nomination, I knew Munoz was very deserving.”

During the event, Munoz was recognized, had pictures taken and received a certificate signed by Rob Manfred, Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Munoz was also given the opportunity to dedicate his nomination.

“I was asked if I would like to dedicate this event to anyone, and all I could think about was the men and women that were lost in my deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan,” Munoz said. “This is a great honor and very humbling to represent the Air Force, and those members deserve the recognition.”

Munoz, originally from Puerto Rico, was accompanied to the game by 20 of his close friends, co-workers and family—four of whom traveled from his home island to attend. His daughter Marimar also traveled, coming in from Chicago for the game.

“I was excited that so many people wanted to go with me to celebrate this night,” Munoz said. “My two sisters, nephew and close friend travelled up from Puerto Rico to go to the game. I was excited to have us all together for this great night”

Also in attendance with Munoz was his wife Maria Jimenez.

“I was extremely proud of him,” said Maria. “I was crying with emotion when the crowd boomed as they announced his name.”

Munoz and Maria have been married his entire 29 year military career, divided between enlisted and officer service. Together they have endured four deployments. When asked about the struggles of the military lifestyle, Maria said, “There are always challenges when your spouse gets deployed. It is a big challenge for the whole family. We take it in strides, one day at a time. We have taught the kids that we are a unit, a team, meaning one whole number.

“Everybody has a responsibility, a duty, and we do our best to keep things flowing, so he doesn’t have to worry as much and can perform well while he is away.” Maria continued. “It was great when you get to see a lot of people thanking him for his service. The event showed us that the community appreciates not the individual but all Services’ sacrifice and loyalty to the country.”