Astros put their best foot forward to support the troops.

Astros players are asked to do plenty of off-the-field projects throughout the season, and most of the time, they do so willingly — although to be perfectly honest, you do hear some grumbling from time to time, especially as the months wear on.

But one cause that gets 100 percent participation from every player asked, without hesitation, is anything that has to do with the military. The Astros host soldiers from all areas of the armed forces of the military every Sunday, and nearly every player will make his way over to the meet-and-greet near the clubhouse to shake hands and pose for photos. Military personnel and children: two groups that players unfailingly make time for.

So when a support group named “When They Come Back, We Give Back” asked the Astros to participate in a grass roots campaign to rally support for returning military men and women, the club had no problem rounding up its biggest names to help with the project.

The campaign entailed capturing images of civilian Americans in combat boots, with the hope that one simple picture will serve as a reminder to support our military. Inspired by the story of retired United States Navy SEAL Marcus Lutrell, the group has partnered with the now best-selling author of “Lone Survivor” to rally for the cause. They rounded up several celebrity types, including many of your Houston Astros, to pose in ALTAMA combat boots.

Here’s the first Astros picture made public so far. Carlos Lee is one of several Astros who participated in the photo shoot.

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For more information on the boots campaign, visit WhenTheyComeBack.org.

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Greetings from Dodger Stadium, where the crowds were sparse for the opener for two reasons: It was 57 degrees at gametime, and the Lakers were playing that night as well.

It was a gloomy, overcast day and we even got rained on during batting practice. Very unusual weather conditions for LA, especially this time of year.

We managed to capture a few images from batting practice, even through the clouds and sprinkles.

Enjoy.

Brad Ausmus said he’s on the shelf for three months after having surgery on his lower back. Here he is saying hello to manager Brad Mills and former teammate Lance Berkman.  

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Hitting coach Sean Berry talks hitting with Hunter Pence.

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A shot of the field in the early innings. As you can see, not a lot of fans in the bleacher seats. 

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Jason Michaels during BP.

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Pence in the cage.

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Carlos Lee.

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