The Cleveland Indians and the Green Beret Foundation will partner on the final "Joining Forces" visit of the 2017 season this Saturday, through which a Green Beret and family will enjoy a unique, all-expenses-paid trip to Cleveland to enjoy a VIP experience at Progressive Field.
This program was developed by Indians Performance Coach Ceci Clark, who spent six years as a Cognitive Performance Coach for Green Berets before joining the Indians. Jason Kipnis has hosted each Soldier and their family - and Pro Travel has handled travel accommodations for the deserving Green Beret honorees.
Capt. Cody Martin, an eight-year military vet, will be the Tribe's guest Saturday along with his wife, Alison, and three kids (Brock, Caden and Emily). Capt. Martin completed his Special Forces qualification course in November and was assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group in Florida.
His daughter, Emily, was recently diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a rare condition that caused her to become paralyzed from the waist down.
Each Joining Forces visit to Progressive Field includes private meet-and-greets with Indians players to share leadership experiences, batting practice on the field and a ceremonial first pitch.
The Joining Forces program joins a long list of efforts in which the Indians players and staff have supported military, including Friends of Francona, Corey Kluber's visits to VA Medical Centers, and thousands of donated tickets to local military organizations.
Since its founding in 2009, the Green Beret Foundation has connected the nation's most elite soldiers to resources they need to succeed in the mission ahead. The Green Beret Foundation specifically focuses on the wounded, their families and the families of those who have fallen. The foundation has recently broadened its impact to address the needs of those transitioning back to civilian life.