Tigers’ Justin Verlander committing $1 million for Detroit war veterans


DETROIT — Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander announced Wednesday that he is committing $1 million to provide mental-health support to Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who live in Detroit and two cities in his native Virginia, Richmond and Norfolk.

“One in three veterans post-9/11 needs support,” Verlander said. “They face challenges when they return that most people don’t understand. These men and women are taught to be brave and strong. When they come home, they’re not going to be the first ones to say they need help. We need to try to help these men and women.”

Verlander’s program, which is called Wins for Warriors, will contribute money to two national organizations. They are Give an Hour, which asks mental health professionals throughout the country to donate an hour a week to provide free services to military personnel, and The Mission Continues, which awards community-service fellowships to post-9/11 veterans.

“This is something I’ve thought long and hard about, how to support the veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan,” Verlander said at a news conference at Comerica Park. “I’m very passionate about this. This initiative is a great opportunity for the fans and the public to partner with me in supporting with these men and women who have served.”

He said that anyone who wants to help support this cause can go to Justinverlander.com for more information.

For the last few years, Verlander has hosted military veterans at Comerica Park at games he has pitched.