Iraq veteran to represent Bucs at All-Star week

Iraq veteran to represent Bucs at All-Star week

Iraq veteran to represent Bucs at All-Star week

PITTSBURGH -- Jeffrey Mittman was selected to represent the Pirates as one of 30 winners from a pool of 90 finalists as part of Major League Baseball's and PEOPLE Magazine's "Tribute for Heroes" campaign. The national initiative builds upon both organizations' commitment to honoring veterans and military service members.

The 30 winners will be part of All-Star Week festivities and will be honored during a ceremony before the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field, July 16 on FOX, beginning at 7:30 pm ET.

Mittman, of New Palestine, Ind., was injured in a roadside bombing in Iraq in 2005 while serving as an adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior, losing complete vision in his left eye and most in his right. The explosion left him without a nose, lips or teeth. Now working on a second Master's Degree after retiring as a U.S. Army Master Sergeant, Mittman earned a Purple Heart, three Bronze Stars and a handful of other medals during his military tenure.

He often speaks around the country sharing his experiences and is a Communications Specialist for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

A guest panel assisted in the selection process for the 90 finalists, who were then voted on by fans to select the 30 winners. The panel included Peter W. Chiarelli and John M. "Jack" Keane, 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.

As part of All-Star week in New York, the honorees will attend a private tour of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, a VIP reception on the Intrepid aircraft carrier, the All-Star Red Carpet Show Presented by Chevrolet and the Chevrolet Home Run Derby.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.