As the United States prepares to celebrate its 245th birthday on Sunday, the Kansas City Royals invited a special guest to kick off Independence Day weekend.
Mabel Johnson, a 106-year-old World War II veteran, threw out the first pitch Friday at Kauffman Stadium ahead of the Royals beating the Minnesota Twins 7-4.
A Kansas resident since 1991, Johnson spent three years during World War II serving as a United States Coast Guard SPAR, the women’s branch of the USCG reserves. Her husband was also a veteran.
Johnson now lives in Olathe, Kansas.