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Giants' finalists for 'Tribute to Heroes' unveiled

PITTSBURGH -- An advocate for Vietnam Veterans and a pair of soldiers severely wounded in combat are the Giants' three finalists in the "Tribute for Heroes" campaign, a joint effort between Major League Baseball and PEOPLE magazine that recognizes veterans and military service members.

One winner from each of the 30 Major League clubs will be included in festivities during the week leading up to the July 16 All-Star Game in New York and will be recognized in a pregame ceremony. PEOPLE magazine also will publish a feature story on a "Tribute for Heroes" winner.

The Giants' finalists are Gil Calac of White Swan, Wash., Jarom Vahai of San Bruno, Calif., and Jose Jauregui of Stockton, Calif.

A winner of the Bronze Star for meritorious service, Calac and his wife, Valerie, live on the Yakama Indian Reservation. He helped establish a Vietnam Veterans Day -- March 30 -- in the state of Washington.

Despite sustaining brain trauma and severe nerve damage after being hit by explosives five times in Iraq, Vahai, an ex-Marine, is researching mathematical links between pyramids around the world and Stonehenge for a book he is writing.

Jauregui helps other veterans adjust to life after military service. In April 2005, he survived the blast from an exploding enemy mortar into the open door of the tank he occupied. Three other soldiers were killed; Jauregui sustained third-degree burns over 76 percent of his body.

Chris Haft is a reporter for
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