Major League Baseball today announced an expansion of its efforts to help returning American veterans and their families, with a new $10 million donation to Welcome Back Veterans (welcomebackveterans.org). This new donation brings Major League Baseball's total commitment to Welcome Back Veterans to $23 million since its inception in 2008.
Welcome Back Veterans is an initiative of Major League Baseball Charities and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which uses funding to provide grants to hospitals and clinics that provide post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatment to veterans and their families in a public/private partnership with "Centers of Excellence" at university hospitals throughout the country. The McCormick Foundation will contribute $2.5 million in addition to the $10 million donation from Major League Baseball. Currently, Welcome Back Veterans is funding programs at Weill Cornell in New York City, The University of Michigan, Rush University Medical Center, Duke University, Emory University, UCLA and the Boston Red Sox' Home Base Program at Mass General Hospital in Boston. These institutions are developing new programs and strategies to improve the quality, quantity and access to PTSD and TBI treatment for veterans, particularly those returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This season, in addition to wearing "Stars & Stripes" caps on July 4th, all 30 Clubs will wear specially designed caps on Memorial Day (Monday, May 27) featuring an authentic military digital camouflage design officially licensed from the United States Marine Corps. These caps, produced by New Era as part of the MLB Authentic Collection, will be available for sale to the public at MLB.com and at clubhouse stores. Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. and MLB Advanced Media, Inc., will each donate 100% of their respective net proceeds received from sales of the caps to Welcome Back Veterans as part of the overall $10 million donation.
"Major League Baseball considers it both a privilege and a responsibility to honor and assist our troops in any way we can," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "We are proud to support this initiative, and we ask our fans to join us on Memorial Day and beyond in this effort to raise awareness and funds for this important cause."
"We are grateful for Major League Baseball and the caring fans who have stepped up and given generously to support healthcare and research to help veterans successfully return to life with their families and communities," said David Hiller, president and CEO of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
Founded in 2008 by MLB and now in partnership with the McCormick Foundation, Welcome Back Veterans addresses the needs of returning American Veterans and their families in partnership with the Entertainment Industry Foundation with support from MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network. With the support of Major League Baseball and its Clubs, Welcome Back Veterans has awarded more than $13 million in grants to non‐profit agencies that serve returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans' and their families' greatest needs, focusing on treatment and research of PTSD and TBI.