Major League Baseball and People magazine today announced the 30 winners of the "Tribute for Heroes" campaign, a national initiative that recognizes veterans and military service members and which builds upon both organizations' commitment to honoring our country's heroes. Rob Jones has been selected by a nationwide fan vote to represent the Baltimore Orioles.
Jones is a study in bravery and determination. After losing both legs to an IED in Taliban territory in Afghanistan in 2010, the combat engineer might have given up, but instead he fought back. Jones, who lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, used his recovery time learning to use his new prosthetic legs and reengaging with his passion for rowing. After intense training and several qualifying events, Rob and his rowing partner won the bronze medal at the 2012 Paralympics in London. Now, Jones plans to cycle across America for charity in fall 2013 to raise $1 million for charities aiding disabled veterans. Jones, a Purple Heart recipient, is also a motivational speaker, telling his story of triumph over adversity.
Jones will join one winner representing each of the 30 MLB Clubs to be included in All-Star Week festivities, including a private tour of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, a VIP reception on the Intrepid, and attendance at the All-Star Red Carpet Show Presented by Chevrolet and the Chevrolet Home Run Derby. The winners will also attend and be honored during the pre-game ceremony leading up to the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field July 16 on FOX beginning at 7:30 p.m.
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.