Eight veterans receiving aid from a Studio City nonprofit organization will throw a ceremonial first pitch at Friday evening’s Los Angeles Dodgers-Miami Marlins game at Dodger Stadium.
The group includes U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Praxedes of Covina who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The SoldierCare Project describes itself as a non-denominational, non-political humanitarian outreach dedicated to supporting and mentoring young wounded veterans returning from war.
The project is part of the community outreach efforts of St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church in Studio City.
The organization identifies newly injured soldiers and Marines and sponsors all-expenses paid trips to California with their families or significant others for a break from grueling yearlong rehabilitation schedules.
The trips include such experiences as private movie studio tours alongside television and movie stars.
SoldierCare provides the soldiers and Marines post-discharge support and assists with wish lists for their returns to civilian life and receiving medical care from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Cynthia Garcia of La Puente will be honored as the Military Hero of the Game.
Garcia enlisted in 2014 and deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit in a West Pacific tour as a motor transportation operator, conducting numerous security and re-supply convoys, all supporting the air combat element and infantry battalions.
A fireworks show accompanied by music related to Saturday’s 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing is scheduled to follow the game.
Fans will be invited onto the field to watch the show, which will take place before 11 p.m. and is subject to cancellation if the game lasts too long, like all of the Friday night fireworks shows at Dodger Stadium.
The anniversary will be marked at Saturday’s game by retired U.S. Air Force Col. Terry Virts, an astronaut on Space Shuttle missions in 2010 and 2014-15, throwing the ceremonial first pitch.
Virts will also make a check presentation to Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization which provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of fallen and disabled service members.
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