The Dodger finalists are as follows:
Bill Hoston Los Angeles, CA
David Patterson Rio Rancho, NM
Victoria Wortman Lillington, NC
U.S. Air Force Captain Bill Hoston of Los Angeles was nominated by a friend. During his military service, he flew as an Air Force pilot in Korea and crash-landed his plane during one mission to save his crew. Hoston is the recipient of multiple honors, including a Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart and the Secretary of Defense medal for Exceptional Public Service, one of the nation’s highest honors. In 2004, he successfully lobbied to increase pay and health benefits of troops from six months to 24 months during deployments. He is dedicated to helping veterans and has been nominated as a Los Angeles County Military Advisory Commissioner and is the chairman of the United States Veterans Foundation.
U.S. Marines Communications Specialist David Patterson of Rio Rancho, NM, was nominated by his son, Pat. Patterson is among an elite group of about 400 Navajo Marines who coded and decoded classified military dispatches in their native tongue during World War II, creating the only unbroken code in modern military history. He was awarded the Silver Congressional Medal of Honor in 2001 and from 2003-2012 volunteered as a Foster Grandparent.
U.S. Army Sergeant 1st Class Victoria Wortman of Lillington, NC, was nominated by her mother and is on the promotion list to become a Staff Sergeant. Wortman has served as a combat medic in both Iraq and Afghanistan and is currently stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC. Wortman’s medical expertise and ability to keep those around her calm in the heat of the moment has saved the lives of many injured soldiers.
Along with MLB and ‘PEOPLE,’ a guest panel including General Peter W. Chiarelli (retired) and General John M. “Jack” Keane (retired) and MLB players 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 assisted in the selection process for the 90 finalists.
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 greatest needs of returning American Veterans and their families after they return from service.
As part of its 2013 charity initiative, “PEOPLE First: Help America’s Veterans,” ‘PEOPLE’ is partnering with Welcome Back Veterans and three other nonprofit organizations that are committed to providing assistance to military men and women, and will feature them in multiple editorial stories in ‘PEOPLE’ throughout 2013.