Gladstone’s Hess part of festivities
By Keith Shelton
For The Daily News
Staff Sgt. William Hess of Gladstone is about to make his country proud once again. But it will be a different field than the one he’s used to that he’ll be taking tonight.
Hess was recently notified by Major League Baseball that he had been selected to represent the Colorado Rockies in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game in the People Magazine Tribute For Heroes.
Each MLB team selects one representative from all of the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces, so it was quite the honor that Hess was chosen.
“You have to get nominated,” Hess said Friday evening from Fort Carson. “My wife nominated me, then they went through the applicants. I was notified in the beginning of June that I was in the top 3, then over the next three weeks there was a voting process and it came down to one winner per team.”
Hess had been stationed in Germany for nine years before being transferred to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. He has served 10 years in the army, which includes two tours in Iraq and a tour in Afghanistan.
According to information on MLB.com “Hess’ primary job is to find and destroy IED’s to clear the way for follow-on forces. In August, 2011, after roadside bombs struck three vehicles, William disregarded his own safety, and while under enemy fire, rushed to the aid of wounded soldiers.”
Tonight, before the All-Star Game, Hess will be honored along with the other representatives at the home of the New York Mets, Citi Field.
Hess was welcomed in New York at the MLB All Star Charity Concert benefiting Hurricane Sandy relief in Central Park, featuring the New York Philharmonic and Mariah Carey.
On Sunday, Hess toured the 9/11 Museum and enjoyed a VIP Reception and Gala at the Intrepid.
This afternoon, Hess was to be introduced during the Red Carpet Show – a parade in which one float for AL Heroes and one float for NL Heroes will lead the MLB players.
After dinner at the Mets Cafe, Hess will be honored during the Pre-Game Ceremony before enjoying the game from a suite. Tomorrow, Hess will be invited to the All-Star Game Press Conference and the Home Run Derby before departing back to base.
“I really wasn’t expecting this,” Hess said. “It’s a pretty good feeling and it was a surprise. I’m definitely happy to experience it all.”
Hess said in addition to hearing from friends and family, his selection was also big news on base.
“I was in California training during the voting process, but there were personnel people who could vote and there was a lot of support,” Hess said. “I’d just like to thank my wife. I would be here today if not for her and I want to thank her and my kids for supporting me along the way.”
Hess is a member of Charlie Company SBD Second Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson. He is a 2001 graduate of Gladstone High School.