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Vets Visit San Francisco 49ers' Training Camp

Veterans from Defense Logistics Agency Distribution San Joaquin, California visited the San Francisco 49ers' training camp at Levi stadium, Aug. 4, 2023, through Operation: Care and Comfort, an organization supporting troops, veterans and their families across the globe.  

A football player smiles for a photo with two fans, one of them is holding an autographed team hat.
Kittle Photo Op
George Kittle, left, tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, poses for a photo with Defense Logistics Agency Distribution San Joaquin, Calif., employees April Bendickson and Christopher Loyd at the 49ers’ training camp Aug. 4, 2023.
Photo By: Julian Temblador, Defense Logistics Agency
VIRIN: 230804-D-TT233-0010

The OCC president and founder, Julie DeMaria, worked with DDJC and other military-related agencies to provide veterans, reservists and active-duty service members the opportunity to watch and meet the 49ers players. She said she founded OCC as a grassroots movement in her garage 20 years ago as a way to give back to service members and do her part in supporting the military. DDJC has worked with OCC since 2008. 

"DLA and DDJC is one of our closest partners in northern California," DeMaria said. "Today, we were fortunate enough to provide 50 military members and veterans the opportunity to watch the team practice, meet the players and get some autographs." 

Briana McDonald, a digital media coordinator for the 49ers, said one of the team's most special traditions is hosting a space for military members of the Bay Area community during the 49ers' training camp. 

A football player autographs a piece of clothing for a fan in the crowd.
Autograph Signing
Brayden Willis, left, tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, signs a jacket for Defense Logistics Agency Distribution San Joaquin, Calif., employees at the 49ers’ training camp Aug. 4, 2023.
Photo By: Julian Temblador, Defense Logistics Agency
VIRIN: 230804-D-TT233-0004

"On Day 8 of 49ers' training camp, the team welcomed local military members and organizations who support the military and their families to watch open practice and meet their favorite 49ers' players," McDonald said. 

Zacary Ramirez, an administrative assistant for DDJC, said that attending the training camp was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

"Being surrounded by veterans and active duty from all branches brought back memories and made it more enjoyable," Ramirez said. "I want to take the time to thank everyone involved with OCC. Ever since I joined the Marines, they've been there to make sure we are cared for and afforded opportunities like this one." 

A football player autographs a flag with a team logo for a fan in the crowd.
Flag Signing
Cameron Latu, tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, signs a flag for Defense Logistics Agency Distribution San Joaquin, Calif., employees at the 49ers’ training camp Aug. 4, 2023.
Photo By: Julian Temblador, Defense Logistics Agency
VIRIN: 230804-D-TT233-0005

Another DDJC employee, management analyst April Bendickson, said the event blew away her expectations. 

"So many of the players greeted us, stopped to chat and made the whole experience absolutely unforgettable," Bendickson said. "The fact that they were kind enough to spend time with us out in the heat after what looked like a very intense practice session was so awesome! OCC always provides such amazing opportunities to us at DDJC and I'm incredibly grateful for this wonderful opportunity!" 

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