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05/30/11 4:12 PM ET

Wilson establishes Air Force scholarships

ST. LOUIS -- Brian Wilson observed Memorial Day and Father's Day at once Monday.

Wilson announced the establishment of the Michael Wilson Scholarship to honor his late father and the elder Wilson's commitment to the U.S. Air Force. The scholarship will be awarded annually for each of the next five years, beginning with this year, to two future airmen or airwomen preparing to be officers.

"It doesn't have to be the smartest students. It doesn't have to be the hardest-working," the Giants closer said. Rather, said Wilson, the recipients should demonstrate leadership qualities and the ability to overcome obstacles, such as coming from humble beginnings.

"That's exactly how I got to where I am, so I wanted it to have some sort of link," said Wilson, 29. "I wanted to be able to give money in a certain way where it's not like a donation, but more of a reward."

Though the value of the scholarship was not disclosed, Wilson's contribution is the largest scholarship given by an individual to be administered by the Air Force Association in its 65-year history.

Air Force life has been ingrained in Wilson. He spent much of his youth living on an Air Force base in Bedford, Mass., besides having a large number of relatives who were Air Force veterans. Wilson hopes that donors will enable him to increase the amounts of the grants or extend the distribution period.

"I want it to be something that continues forever," he said.

Those interested in applying for the Michael Wilson Scholarship must be current Air Force ROTC cadets in good standing, enrolled full-time as an incoming junior or senior and in full-time study areas of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. The scholarship is open to any Air Force ROTC cadet in the country. For more information and how to apply for the scholarship, visit BrianWilson38.com.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.