10/17/2011 1:57 PM ET
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to attend first game of the 2011 World Series as part of Welcome Back Veterans and Joining Forces Initiatives
MLB & Joining Forces PSA Featuring Mrs. Obama, Mark Teixeira and Johnny Damon to premiere during World Series
World Series Game One dedicated to veterans and their families
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will attend Game One of the 2011 World Series as part of Major League Baseball's Welcome Back Veterans program (www.WelcomeBackVeterans.org) and the First Lady's Joining Forces initiative (www.JoiningForces.gov). MLB has dedicated Game One of the World Series to veterans and their families. Game One of the World Series featuring the Texas Rangers at the St. Louis Cardinals will be broadcast live on FOX on Wednesday, October 19, starting at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
"We are honored to have First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden join us for the 2011 Fall Classic to recognize the courageous men and women who serve the country as well as their families," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "Major League Baseball has raised more than $11 million over the past several years through our Welcome Back Veterans program to help support veterans and their families. The World Series gives us the perfect opportunity to build on this ongoing commitment."
Prior to Game One, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will join representatives from Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals including Hall of Famer and Army veteran Red Schoendienst at the St. Louis VA Medical Center for a military family appreciation event. Families attending will be the first to view the new Joining Forces and MLB Public Service Announcement (PSA) that will premiere during Game One featuring Mrs. Obama as well as New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Johnny Damon, both of whom come from military families. The PSA will premiere Wednesday, October 19 in ballpark and on MLB.com and MLB Network. Additionally, there will be a special pre-game ceremony featuring Mrs. Obama, Dr. Biden, veterans and military families.
Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will participate in an interview on the Joining Forces initiative and answer questions submitted by MLB fans through Facebook and Twitter. People around the country can submit questions for Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden through MLB's Facebook page or on Twitter with the hashtag #AskMichelle. Follow the interview at 7:15 p.m. Eastern/6:15 p.m. Central on Wednesday, October 19th prior to Game One of the World Series. Stay connected to MLB and the Joining Forces initiative: LIKE the Major League Baseball Facebook page, follow @MLB on Twitter, LIKE Joining Forces on Facebook and follow @JoiningForces on Twitter.
Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden created Joining Forces to bring Americans together to recognize, honor and take action to support military families. Joining Forces mobilizes all sectors of society to give service members and their families opportunities and support.
Welcome Back Veterans (www.WelcomeBackVeterans.org), an MLB Charities initiative in partnership with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, was designed to support returning veterans, particularly from Iraq and Afghanistan, and their family members as they transition to civilian life. Welcome Back Veterans has awarded more than $11 million in grants to non-profit agencies targeting veterans' and their families' greatest needs, focusing on treatment and research of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). One such beneficiary is the "Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program," a partnership between the Red Sox Foundation, the team charity of the Boston Red Sox, and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), dedicated to providing free and confidential clinical care to military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injury and combat-related stress disorder, as well as support services for their families. The Home Base Program in Boston also provides cutting edge research and community education programs to decrease the stigma often unfairly associated with these two injuries, which government agencies now estimate affect as many as 30% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. More information about the Red Sox Foundation and MGH Home Base Program is available at www.RedSoxFoundation.org.
Welcome Back Veterans is a public and private partnership designed to augment existing efforts of both the federal Veteran's Administration (VA) and Department of Defense. The family support component is especially important since the VA is limited in what it can do to assist veterans' families.
Welcome Back Veterans is financially supported by Major League Baseball, as well as by funds raised from auctions of game-used products and the donation of sales from Stars & Stripes baseball caps. Welcome Back Veterans is also supported by MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network. Visit www.MLBCommunity.org for more information.