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Candidates for 'Tribute for Heroes' announced

Candidates for 'Tribute for Heroes' announced

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Candidates for 'Tribute for Heroes' announced

People magazine and Major League Baseball announced the three White Sox candidates for the "Tribute for Heroes" award on Tuesday. The award is a national initiative to recognize veterans and military service members who have demonstrated incredible bravery.

Each of the 30 Major League clubs has three finalists, and the one who receives the most votes will be the team's representative at this year's All-Star Weekend festivities. The team's hero will be recognized during a pregame event at Citi Field on July 16th.

Marcus Camp from Paxton, Ill., T.J. Owens from Libertyville, Ill., and friend of the White Sox organization Israel Del Toro are the three finalists for Chicago.

Del Toro's Humvee ran over an IED explosive in a remote part of Afghanhistan in 2005, leaving him with third-degree burns on 85 percent of his body. Doctors gave him a 15-percent chance to live but after 120 surgeries he's not only alive but has re-enlisted in the Air Force and is currently serving as an instructor. He's the first 100 percent disabled airman to re-enlist.

Owens was a medical specialist in Afghanistan who saved several terribly injured soldiers after a group attacked Combat Outpost Fortitude because they believed the American troops had burned a Koran. The aggressors threw a grenade into the compound, injuring 10 soldiers. Owens immediately treated the patients.

Camp has been deployed to Afghanistan once and to Iraq twice, serving nine years in the U.S. Army, seven of them as an Airborne Infrantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division. He has an Army Drill Sergeant Badge, six Army Commendation Medals and has brought all of his soldiers home safely while holding a leadership position on two of his tours.

Fans are encouraged to visit TributeForHeroes.com to vote for their favorite stories through June 30.

Ethan Asofsky 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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