The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation Announces
Tom Seaver and Darren O’Day the 2017 Baseball Honorees
Navy and Marine Corps Honorees to Join at Annual Award Ceremony
The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation is excited to announce the winners of the 2017 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award. This award recognizes six recipients – one Baseball Hall of Famer, one current Major League Baseball player, one U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer, two Peerto- Peer Mentoring Awards (one Afloat Command, one Ashore Command) and the United States Marine Corps (USMC) Jerry Coleman Award. Each honoree possesses the values, integrity, and dedication to serving our country that Bob Feller himself displayed.
This year, the honorees are Tom Seaver, Darren O’Day, Chief Petty Officer Edmundo Brantes, Training Support Center Great Lakes, Unmanned Patrol Squadron ONE NINE (VUP-19), and Staff Sergeant Adam Plambeck. The winners will be honored at the fifth Annual Awards Ceremony at the US Navy Memorial, in Washington, DC on Thursday, November 16th.
Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver played for twenty seasons in MLB and most know him for his role in the New York Mets’ 1969 World Championship. On learning that he is the recipient of the award Seaver said, “I was incredibly proud to learn that I was selected as a 2017 recipient of the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award. Serving in the United States Marine Corps reserves after graduating from high school in Fresno was the turning point in my life, and I’m very proud of my service. “
Seaver, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the highest percentage of votes ever recorded at the time (98.84%), continued “There’s always a transition point in one’s life, and for me that was it. If I’m to credit anything, it was joining the Marine Corps. I was a good student after joining. I had focus and an objective. I grew and I matured. I walked out of graduation from boot camp three months later, and I was proud of myself and proud of that uniform. I am extremely proud of the eight-year commitment I happily fulfilled. My time spent in the reserves prepared me for baseball and life. I wouldn’t have had the family I do, the wins I accumulated, the friendships I made or a plaque in Cooperstown without my time with the Marines. I am so very grateful and will always be so. Bob Feller set the bar among baseball players, and serves as an example for all, with his unsurpassed service to the Navy.”
Seaver also noted that “To be recognized with this award that carries Bob’s name is an incredible honor. I commend the Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation for its commitment to excellence and education, and for its recognition and support of our service men and women.”
Orioles’ pitcher Darren O’Day has been a strong supporter of military personnel in the Baltimore area for the past several years. Every year O’Day supports the Orioles Military Sunday Suite program, where every Sunday home game, the Orioles donate a catered private suite to wounded soldiers, active duty and veteran military organizations and are invited to the field for batting practice and a special meet and greet with Darren and other players.
Said O’Day, “It is an incredible honor to receive this prestigious award. To be mentioned alongside Bob Feller, previous award winners, and this year’s candidates is truly humbling. My wife, Elizabeth, and I are grateful to have the opportunity and resources to be able to support the servicemen, women, and their families who sacrifice so much for our country. Whether it is lifting the spirits of wounded veterans or hosting family members of those actively serving, we are committed to doing everything we can to offer our support.”
Darren also makes a donation based on his on-field performance to Luke’s Wings, a non-profit military organization dedicated to the support of current and former service members who have been wounded in battle. O’Day donates $50 for every batter he strikes out. He has raised over $12,000 in previous years. This year, Darren and his wife Elizabeth will be hosting their 4th annual “Barbecue for the Troops” event that supports USO programs for deployed troops, military families, wounded, ill and injured troops and their caregivers and families of the fallen. The O’Day family presented a check for $35,000 last season to the USO-Metro.
In addition to financial support, Darren also gives his time. The Orioles conducted a clinic for 100 Little Leaguers from Ft. Meade. O’Day, along with Orioles, helped teach baseball with the support of Fort Meade Little League coaches.
BMC (SW/AW) Edmundo Brantes enlisted in the Navy in October 1994 and served with distinction ever since. He has served on several ships and shore commands including as Deck Department Leading Chief Petty Officer on USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71) and currently on USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN-73).
Chief Brantes is a passionate leader who is constantly looking to increase the effectiveness of his Sailors and increase morale at his command. In addition to guiding and mentoring his Sailors, he volunteered significant time serving his community, including rehabilitating houses for disadvantaged people both at home and overseas; and training others and serving as a Little League Umpire while donating his umpire salary back to the Little League. His efforts have earned him the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
The Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Award honors groups of junior Sailors that have excelled in encouraging other Sailors to embody the Navy’s core values of honor, courage, and commitment, and have worked together to promote peer-to-peer mentorship and reduce destructive personal decision-making and behaviors. This year’s recipients in the Afloat and Ashore categories are Unmanned Patrol Squadron ONE NINE (VUP-19) and Training Support Center Great Lakes.
SSGT Adam Plambeck is the recipient of the Jerry Coleman Award, which honors a Marine Non-commissioned Officer possessing outstanding leadership and unyielding support for the Marine Corps and the United States of America.
SSGT Plambeck enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 2004 and has exceled throughout his career. He has completed two combat tours in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a combat tour in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He has served in various commands including as a Drill Instructor in San Diego, CA and currently with 2D Transportation Support Battalion, Camp Lejeune, NC.
In addition to leading and training Marines, SSGT Plambeck always gives back to his community. While in San Diego, he represented the Marine Corps in a public relations educator’s workshop with high school teachers and coached and mentored youth soccer players. In North Carolina, he operates a satellite USO center at the airport in Jacksonville, NC to support all service members. His efforts have earned him the 2016 Presidential Volunteer Service Award.
Beginning this year, the foundation will also be honoring the first ever “Military Children Award” for two children whose parents serve proudly in our United States Military. The Award will be given as part of the foundation’s educational outreach to the younger generation. Children ages 10 to 14 were asked to research and submit an essay explaining how the young person was influenced by one of the 37 Hall of Famers who served in WWII and how they utilized the lessons learned in overcoming their own adversities and challenges as a military child.
This year’s winners are Nicholas and Shivanne Annand, the son and daughter of Naresh and Henrietta Annand from Chesapeake, Virginia. Nicholas, age 12, attends Greenbrier Middle School and wrote about Yogi Berra ‘s war experiences. Shivanne, age 10, attends Greenbrier Intermediate School and did her essay about Monte Irvin. Naresh is a Navy Operation Specialist First Class serving aboard the USS LABOON (DDG-58) as the OPS/OI Leading Petty Officer and is stationed in Norfolk, Virginia.
Along with Darren O’Day, other Major League Baseball players named finalists for the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award: Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox; Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians; Mike Dunn, Colorado Rockies; Charlie Morton, Houston Astros; Ian Kennedy, Kansas City Royals; Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins; Jimmy Nelson, Milwaukee Brewers; Jacob deGrom, New York Mets; David Roberston, New York Yankees (CWS nominee); Craig Stammen, San Diego Padres; and Hunter Strickland, San Francisco Giants. Several nominees were honored with on-field ceremonies during the season.
Previous baseball winners of the award include Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Tommy Lasorda, George Brett and Rod Carew plus MLB players Justin Verlander, Nick Swisher, Jonathan Lucroy and Brad Ziegler. Previous Navy, Peer to Peer, and Marine Corps honorees are Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Garth Sinclair, Senior Chief Petty Officer Carl Thompson, Chief Petty Officer Genell Cody, USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), HOPPER Information Services Center, Staff Sergeant Rene Segura, USMC, Senior Chief Petty Officer Christopher Beeding USN; USS CONSTITUTION; Training Support Center Great Lakes; and First Sergeant Marshall Cleveland, USMC.
While many know Bob Feller as one of the greatest pitchers to ever grace the baseball diamond, few remember that he also served our country when he made the selfless decision to enlist just days after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Feller served on missions in both the Pacific and the North Atlantic, and earned the rank of Chief Petty Officer along with six campaign ribbons and eight battle stars. When asked about the most important victory he had won, Feller famously replied without hesitation, “World War II.”
Peter Fertig created The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award with the support of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial, the Cleveland Indians, Major League Baseball, the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, and the gracious consent of Mrs. Anne Feller, the San Diego Padres, and the family of Jerry Coleman.
“It is truly inspiring to watch these players within major league baseball honor our U.S. Military and those who serve proudly today,” said Fertig. “Bob Feller led his generation onto the field of battle and away from the baseball diamond in a time of great national need. The legacy of Bob Feller and the greatest generation are embodied throughout these players and their respective clubs for honoring those who serve this great country, and for this we are forever grateful.”
Continued Fertig, “As a foundation, we look forward to setting a new standard for social responsibility, by helping communicate and educate the youngest generation on the foundation’s four pillars we believe will help move our country forward. The ideals of
Citizenship, Service, Sacrifice and Legacy are the foundation’s core value. Through these efforts, we can provide a powerful example that will inspire and excite today’s generation, and acknowledge the heroes of past and present generations.”
The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation Announces
Military Children Essay Contest with Winners to Receive the
New Military Children Act of Valor Award
Contest to Run from June 21-August 31, 2017
Today, the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation, with support and evaluation from the National Military Family Association, announced a Military Children Essay Contest on the 37 Members of the Baseball Hall of Fame who served in World War II. The winners of the essay contest will be honored with the Military Children Act of Valor Award and will join the 2017 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award honorees from Major League Baseball, the Hall of Fame, the US Navy and the US Marine Corps at the foundation’s annual event at the US Navy Memorial in Washington, DC this November.
Eligible children will go to http://www.actofvaloraward.org/hall-of-fame-essay-contest/ and be asked to submit an essay, from June 21-August 31, on one of the 37 baseball Hall of Fame Members who served in World War II. The essays will focus on the four pillars of the foundation—Citizenship to One’s Community, Service to One’s Country, Sacrifice to One’s Goals, Legacy to Future Generations—and how the player embraced them.
The one to two page essays will also explain how the young person was influenced by learning about one of the 37 Hall of Famers who served in WWII and how they can utilize the lessons learned in overcoming their own adversities and challenges through examples of duty and service. The top two essays from kids ages 10-12 and 13-14 will receive “The Military Children Act of Valor Award” at the foundation’s annual event.
“These two new unique and special awards will be presented annually at our annual award ceremony at the US Navy Memorial in Washington DC this November. We feel these awards will recognize those youngsters whose parents serve our country faithfully in the military,” said Peter Fertig, President of the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation.
The essays will be requested from children ages 10-14 of active duty and reserve military members with the following criteria:
- Immediate Family member must be on active duty with Navy, Army, Marines Corp, Air Force, or called to active duty with one the National Guard or Reserve component
- Residing in one of the Following Areas – Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina or Washington DC
Meredith M. Lozar, Child and Family Programs Director, from the National Military Family Association said “We are excited to support the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award with this great initiative for military children. NMFA recognizes and celebrates that military kids serve too and it’s great to see them extended an opportunity to learn more about the uniform behind which they stand.”
The Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation, through the unique intersection of baseball and the US Navy, recognizes and honors those who support our nation’s service men and women via the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award and uses the Bob Feller story to educate the youth of today the lessons of citizenship, service to one’s country, and sacrifice in times of great national need. For more information on the essay contest, please go to http://www.actofvaloraward.org/hall-offame-essay-contest/
The National Military Family Association is the leading nonprofit dedicated to serving the families who stand behind the uniform. Since 1969, NMFA has worked to strengthen and protect millions of families through its advocacy and programs. They provide spouse scholarships, camps for military kids, and retreats for families reconnecting after deployment and for the families of the wounded, ill, or injured. NMFA serves the families of the currently serving, retired, wounded or fallen members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and NOAA. To get involved or to learn more,