Indians Press Release
Cleveland Indians Homestand Heroes event to honor military branches, service men and women during Fourth of July ceremonies
Club will shine spotlight on fallen, current and future military heroes with expansive pregame, in-game and post-game ceremonies
Cleveland, OH-The Cleveland Indians will honor fallen, current and future military heroes from the United States military during the club's first Homestand Heroes event before, during and after the club's game against the Kansas City Royals on July 4.
"The Fourth of July is the perfect time to recognize the sacrifices made by the men and women who serve our country and their families," said Bob DiBiasio, Indians Senior Vice President of Public Affairs. "These ceremonies to recognize fallen, current and future military heroes should be very special and create amazing memories for our service members and our fans."
BOB FELLER ACT OF VALOR AWARD
The Indians will recognize the nominees and finalists for the second annual Bob Feller Act of Valor Award - including the Indians Nick Swisher as a finalist - created to honor the legacy of Hall of Famer and Indians great Bob Feller, who enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor despite a blossoming baseball career. Each year, the award will recognize one MLB player, one MLB Hall of Famer and a Navy service man or woman; Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander was the MLB player honored last year. Swisher will be joined by Mrs. Anne Feller in a pregame ceremony.
The evening will begin with recognition of the Derga family of Columbus and TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). TAPS is a tragedy assistance resource for anyone who has suffered the loss of a military loved one, regardless of the relationship to the deceased or the circumstances of death. The Dergas lost their son, Corporal Dustin A. Derga, in Iraq in 2005. Dustin was a member of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment (Infantry). TAPS coordinates locally with Cornerstone of Hope, which is dedicated to providing support, education and hope for the grieving.
In partnership with the USO of Northern Ohio, the Indians have invited several thousand service men and women and their families to be in attendance and play a role in the night's celebration. Later, all five military branches - the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard - will present colors for the national anthem before the game's scheduled 7:05PM first pitch.
After the game - and before the evening's scheduled extended patriotic fireworks show - new military recruits from various branches will participate in an on-field enlistment ceremony.