Texas A&M, Operation Hat Trick Join Aggie Baseball, Softball In Military Appreciation
Texas A&M University and Operation Hat Trick are joining Aggie Baseball and Softball in honoring veterans and active duty soldiers this spring with on-field recognitions, free giveaways and discounted apparel, and for one Aggie student veteran, a surprise for his whole family.
Aggie Baseball’s March 27 game against Auburn had some excited spectators in the McLean family. U.S. Army Capt. Alex McLean, who is set to receive his master of healthcare administration degree from A&M next month, was joined at the game by his wife, Brittney, and their four children as part of a prize package from the university and its partners, including Operation Hat Trick.
McLean, 33, from Sachse, Texas, served nine years in the Army as a medical service officer. He held leadership positions including platoon leader, staff officer and company commander, and served nine months in Afghanistan.
At the baseball game, McLean and other vets and active duty military were recognized on field, the crowd played games for free OHT swag, and McLean threw out the first pitch.
In addition to free game tickets, the McLeans enjoyed a complimentary weekend stay at the Texas A&M Hotel & Conference Center, where their room was filled – covertly by Texas A&M staff members – with OHT-Aggie gear for the whole family.
OHT is a nonprofit organization that generates awareness, support and funding for the recovery of America’s wounded service members and veterans through the sale of OHT-branded merchandise, the proceeds from which are distributed to organizations throughout the country that support the OHT mission.
McLean said he was thrilled with the honor and is excited about graduating this month, especially since he’s wanted to be an Aggie for as long as he can remember.
“The history, camaraderie and culture of the school, and hearing of the unique experiences from people I knew at A&M, kept me driven to be an Aggie,” McLean said.
He said he’s enjoyed learning from other students in his cohort. “I’m the ‘dad’ of the group because I’m about 10 years older than most of my classmates,” he said. “Getting to spend time with them has been fun and a unique experience. Observing their view of health care and how they address and solve problems has been enlightening and refreshing.”
McLean said his military experience helped him navigate university life. “In the military you must be flexible and quickly able to adapt to ever-changing situations,” he said. “This was reinforced during my time at A&M with online classes due to COVID, masking policies, transitioning to in-person and the ever-changing dynamics of health care.”
After graduation, McLean plans to work in hospital administration in hopes of becoming a hospital CEO one day.
Additional partners for the veteran surprise campaign are the Don & Ellie Knauss Veteran Resource & Support Center and Texas A&M Ventures.
Aggie Softball had its Military Appreciation Game at Olsen Field at Bluebell Park on April 23 vs. Alabama.
Shop for OHT-Aggie gear on 12thManShop.com.