Purple Heart recipients from the Vietnam and Iraq wars will throw ceremonial first pitches before Tuesday evening’s Los Angeles Dodgers- San Francisco Giants game at Dodger Stadium on Military Appreciation Night.
Retired Chief Petty Officer Jim Daniels joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 when he was 16 and was a Seabee, the Navy’s construction battalion, building roads and airports to support the U.S. armed forces during World War II. He is also a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars and was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds suffered in a rocket attack in Vietnam.
Retired U.S. Army Capt. Dr. Jon Williams was a platoon leader in the 1st Cavalry Division. During his second tour in Vietnam in 1968, he was wounded and spent six months in an Army hospital, undergoing surgery 23 times. He received three Purple Hearts for wounds received in combat.
Michael Heath joined the U.S. Marine Corps in January 1984, served two combat tours in Iraq and received two Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in combat.
Daniels, Williams and Heath will receive Dodger Community Hero Awards from third baseman Justin Turner.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. DeJon Fruga of the 610th Air Operations Group, 701st Combat Operations Squadron at March Air Reserve Base will perform the national anthem. The Blue Eagles Honor Guard, which consists of personnel from Edwards Air Force Base, March Air Reserve Base and the Los Angeles Air Station, will serve as the honor guard.
Department of Veterans Affairs interim Deputy Secretary Scott Blackburn will declare, “It’s time for Dodger baseball.”
Give an Hour, a nonprofit organization that provides free mental health services to military members and veterans and their families, will be recognized during pregame ceremonies.
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer David Duran, who was raised in Lincoln Heights, will be honored as the Military Hero of the Game. Duran, a Kiowa, is a Blackhawk helicopter pilot serving with the Eagle Team at Fort Irwin. He enlisted in the Army in 1994. He has completed overseas tours to Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Kuwait and two in Iraq.
—City News Service
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