One of the winners, Brian Taylor Urruela of Tampa, FL, will be featured in the July 22 issue of PEOPLE, which hits newsstands nationwide on July 12. Urruela is a Purple Heart recipient who helped start VETSports, a non-profit organization that provides adaptive sports opportunities for returning wounded and combat veterans.
Inspiring stories include heroes from multiple branches of the Armed Forces ranging in ages from 26 to 92 years-old (World War II through Afghanistan). Heroes being honored include: Brad Snyder of Bethesda, MD, who won two gold medals, a silver medal, and set a number of American records for the USA Paralympics swim team at the 2012 London Games; David Patterson of Rio Rancho, NM, awarded the Silver Congressional Medal of Honor, is a Native American who took part in every Marine assault in WWII as one of the Navajo Code Talkers; Margo Parker of Tucson, AZ, the first woman in California to enlist in the military after Congress passed a law allowing women with children to join; Brian Hicks of Pike Road, AL, an amputee who completed 35 triathlons and 8 marathons; and Joe Kapacziewski of Upatol, GA, who made history by becoming the first Army Airborne Ranger to return to combat after an amputation. All stories can be found at TributeForHeroes.com.
Along with MLB and PEOPLE, a guest panel including General Peter W. Chiarelli (retired) and General John M. "Jack" Keane (retired), alongside MLB players Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers, Nick Swisher of the Cleveland Indians, Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants, Jonny Gomes of the Boston Red Sox, Brad Ziegler of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres and Craig Stammen of the Washington Nationals assisted in the selection process for the 90 finalists, who were then voted on by fans to select the 30 winners.
The "Tribute For Heroes" campaign supports Welcome Back Veterans (welcomebackveterans.org, powered by MLB.com), an initiative of Major League Baseball and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which addresses the needs of veterans after they return from service. Major League Baseball has committed more than $23 million for 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.
As part of its 2013 charity initiative, PEOPLE First: Help America's Veterans, 'PEOPLE' is partnering with Welcome Back Veterans and three other nonprofit organizations that are committed to providing assistance to military men and women, and will feature them in multiple editorial stories in 'PEOPLE' throughout 2013.
Currently, Welcome Back Veterans funds programs at The University of Michigan, Rush University Medical Center, Duke University, Emory University, Weill Cornell in New York City, 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.
List of "Tribute For Heroes" winners can be found below and full stories at TributeForHeroes.com:
Team Name Hometown
Angels Kevin Burciaga Upland, CA
Astros Dennis Derr League City, TX
Athletics Corbin Cherry Hertford, NC
Blue Jays Nicholas Kerr Victoria, B.C.
Braves Brian Hicks Pike Road, AL
Brewers Brandon Nontelle Altus, OK
Cardinals Brian Taylor Urruela Tampa, FL
Cubs Richard Bennett Dekalb, IL
D-backs Margo Parker Tucson, AZ
Dodgers David Patterson Rio Rancho, NM
Giants Gil Calac White Swan, WA
Indians Raymond T. Matwich Warren, OH
Mariners Robert Dyer Annapolis, MD
Marlins John Kloiber Crestview, FL
Mets Helen Fumo Manor, TX
Nationals John Belcher Tunkhannock, PA
Orioles Rob Jones Charlottesville, VA
Padres Josh Hooker San Diego, CA
Phillies Louis Namm Thorofare, NJ
Pirates Jeffrey Mittman New Palestine, IN
Rangers Zach Briseno Fort Worth, TX
Rays Brad Snyder Bethesda, MD
Reds Joseph Carroll Blue Ash, OH
Red Sox Joe Kapacziewski Upatol, GA
Rockies William Hess Colorado Springs, CO
Royals Clayton Zupon Peculiar, MO
Tigers Cory Gritter Rockville, MD
Twins Patrick Nelson Eden Prairie, MN
White Sox Israel Del Toro Cibolo, TX
Yankees Jonathan Popovich Pompton Lakes, NJ
About PEOPLE magazine
PEOPLE revolutionized personality journalism in 1974 and is today the world's most successful and popular magazine. Each week, the PEOPLE brand brings more than 53 million consumers the latest news, exclusive interviews and in-depth reporting on the most compelling people of our time. In addition to unparalleled access to the entertainment community, the stories of real-life "Heroes Among Us" remain an essential component of PEOPLE's editorial approach. PEOPLE.com is the premier web destination for celebrity news, photos, style and entertainment coverage. With reporters across the globe, PEOPLE is headquartered in New York City. For more information visit www.people.com.
About the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 84th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 16th in New York City and will feature the best of the American League taking on the top players of the National League. Building up to the excitement of the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball will conduct a wide variety of special events and charitable activities for fans both inside and outside of Citi Field. At the ballpark, the events will include Taco Bell All-Star Sunday on July 14th featuring the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, and Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 15th featuring the Chevrolet Home Run Derby on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio. Outside of the ballpark, fans will have an opportunity to experience All-Star Week through a variety of special events including T-Mobile All-Star FanFest, the five-day interactive fan festival; the MLB All-Star 5K & Fun Run benefiting Sandy Relief presented by Nike, a charity run/walk on a baseball-themed route to benefit Robin Hood Relief Fund and Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City; and the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet, a free procession of All-Stars through the streets of Manhattan. The Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally on FOX, broadcast on ESPN Radio and will be shown around the world by Major League Baseball International. For more information about 2013 All-Star Summer, visit AllStarGame.com.