Mario Impemba Launches New Program for Military Veterans
On Memorial Day, the nation stops to give thanks to all of the men and women who have served our country.
For FOX Sports Detroit broadcaster Mario Impemba, one day of thanks is simply not enough.
Since 2009, Impemba has brought a piece of home to active military members around the world with Operation Opening Day, a four-hour DVD commemorating the Tigers home opener, complete with pre-game festivities, game telecast and postgame interviews.
The idea came to him after years of visiting active service military members on the Detroit Tigers Winter Caravan.
“A lot of the military personnel we visited were sad that they wouldn’t get to go to Opening Day,” said Impemba. “Baseball is such a big deal here- It’s such a tradition, so I tried to figure something out to bring Opening Day to them so they could at least get a piece of home.”
Impemba and the Detroit Tigers have given away more than 4,000 Operation Opening Day DVDs since the program’s inception in 2009 and recently announced the continuation of the program for 2013.
With the success of Operation Opening Day, Impemba began to look for other ways to give back to our military and veterans. And on a 2012 trip to the VA Hospital with the Detroit Tigers, he figured out how.
That simple exchange launched the Military Veterans Program or “MVP” as it will be known to the 20 veterans from earlier conflicts who will be invited to a game on the FOX Sports Detroit Fan Express, and given a game ticket, food, and special “MVP” t-shirt thanks to Mario Impemba and the Detroit Tigers.
“We don’t think about the older guys as much. The people that came back from Vietnam-they went through a lot and we have to take care of them too.”
To learn more about Mario’s Programs and what the Tigers are doing to support our military and veterans, visit Tigers.com.