San Diego—A decorated Army veteran whose leg was amputated while serving in Iraq threw out the first pitch at the Padres game Friday night.
Major Ed Pulido lost his leg when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off under him in 2004.
"I laid in the 128 degree pavement and to this day, I tell the American people that it was a young combat medic and the grace of God that gave me a second chance at life," said Maj. Pulido.
Pulido is now the vice president of the national non-profit Folds of Honor, an organization that provides educational scholarships to families of fallen or wounded service members.
"Our service members are getting taken care of but our families are the ones being left behind," he said. "So what we want to do is impact those 185,000 families like the ones that are here today to give them the educational support."
Elissa Valeros, whose dad was injured in the Marine Corps, is one of the group's local recipients. She is using the $20,000 in scholarship money to attend San Diego State University.
"I'm going to be majoring in kinesiology and I'm looking for work alongside the military since they've made such a difference for us and given a huge sacrifice," said Elissa. "I want to do something to give back."
Before Major Pulido threw out the first pitch, Padres' pitcher Heath Bell gave him some advice.
"Just be memorable," said Bell.
Folds of Honor is based in Oklahoma and has already given out 2,000 scholarships. Anheuser-Busch recently partnered with the organization to provide financial support as well give Folds of Honor $100 for every home run scored this season.
"I was able to get through the IED explosion alive and now I'm serving the men and women in uniform as I told myself I would do on that day if I survived," said Major Pulido. He also earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his combat service.