SEATTLE -- Robert Dyer, a decorated combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, has been selected by fans to represent the Mariners in the MLB and People Magazine's "Tribute for Heroes" initiative that will be part of the All-Star festivities next week in New York.
Dyer is an active-duty Marine Corps aviation officer from the Seattle area and currently stationed at the U.S. Naval Academy. He'll be joined by 29 other winners representing each Major League club and will be honored during pregame ceremonies Tuesday at Citi Field as well as during various activities leading up to the game.
The 36-year-old Seattle native was an academic and athletic standout at Kennedy High School in Burien, Wash., where he was an all-conference football lineman and also ran track and participated in the All Northwest Jazz Band before graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2000.
Fans nationwide cast their votes at TributeForHeroes.com to select the 30 winners from a pool of 90 finalists.
In addition to being in the Marines, Dyer is also an entrepreneur. He and his fellow Special Ops Marines came up with the idea for a nutrition product called RuckPack that offers vitamins and energy without caffeine. The company they founded hires veterans and active duty military and channels profits back to military charities. RuckPack has donated more than $15,000 to organizations such as the Navy SEAL Foundation and Wounded Warriors.
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 needs of veterans after they return from service. Major League Baseball has committed more than $23 million for grants to hospitals and clinics that provide post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatment to veterans and their families.