MILWAUKEE -- Brewers starter Jeff Suppan is doing even more this season to throw his support behind United States military personnel. The right-hander on Monday helped introduce Soup's Troops, a partnership with the team and the USO of Wisconsin to benefit the men and women of the U.S. military during the final 75 Brewers home games at Miller Park. The Brewers will donate four field-level seats to active members of the military and to families of fallen soldiers, and Suppan and his wife, Dana, will pick up the tab for $200 of concessions and merchandise vouchers for each group. "We are truly thankful and have tremendous respect for all of the heroic efforts demonstrated by our active military, veterans and their families," Suppan said. "Their services and sacrifices are an inspiration, and we all benefit from their dedication to our country."
The Soup's Troops program comes in addition to Suppan's other community efforts, for which he was honored last season as the Brewers' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. He also has pledged $100 for every strikeout to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, an organization which benefits families of U.S. military personnel killed in action, and Brewers Charities matches each $100 gift. Information about the new program was sent to Wisconsin military personnel, and within the first few days, the USO (the private, non-profit United Service Organizations) said it received more than 1,100 ticket requests. Given that demand, Brewers Charities announced it would donate additional tickets through the "Brewers Buddies" ticket program, which gets its stock from Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio, season-ticket holders, sponsors, players and other fans. "The ability for us to take our loved ones to a baseball game and to have some of the best seats in the house is really special," Gunnery Sgt. Jeffrey Semrow of the U.S. Marine Corps said in a statement. "For all the members of the military, we want to say thanks." SSG William Becker of Kenosha, Wis., and three guests were the first to occupy the Soup's Troops seats. Sgt. Becker is with the 257th Brigade Support Battalion, U.S. Army National Guard. Throughout the season, the Brewers also provide tickets to members of the Armed Forces through Stars and Stripes Sundays, when the team offers two free terrace level tickets to active and military personnel with valid identification. The offer applies to all branches of the military and is based on ticket availability. In addition, military personnel can obtain discounted tickets for Armed Forces Day on May 10 against the Cardinals. Tickets are available through the Armed Forces Committee, and interested parties can contact John Downing at the United States Coast Guard office at (414) 747-7151 for ticket information. A portion of the sale benefits the Armed Forces Committee.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.