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Army veteran Hooker named Padres' Tribute honoree

Army veteran Hooker named Padres' Tribute honoree

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Army veteran Hooker named Padres' Tribute honoree

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego resident Josh Hooker was named the Padres' representative for the "Tribute for Heroes" campaign, a national initiative by Major League Baseball and People magazine that recognizes military veterans.

Each Major League club has a representative that will participate in the festivities during All-Star week and will be recognized on Tuesday before the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field.

Hooker enlisted as a member of the U.S. Army and served as a member of an Army Scout Team after graduating high school. While in Iraq during the summer of 2006, Hooker was riding in a Humvee that was struck by an IED that killed one of his good friends and mangled his left leg.

He endured dozens of surgeries and skin grafts before making the decision to have his left leg amputated below the knee for a chance to regain his mobility.

Soon after, he was riding a bike again, cycling through the city for as many as 50 miles a day.

He also volunteers with CAF Operation Rebound and Canine Companions for Independence and works as a high school football coach.

Along with MLB and People, a guest panel that included Padres third baseman Chase Headley helped with the selection process of 90 finalists, and the fans voted on the 30 winners.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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