Seventeen wounded Marines from Balboa Medical Center in San Diego are visiting the Valley beginning this Saturday, March 5, for some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Although still recovering from injuries received in battle, the Marines are able to travel and will enjoy a respite from the military medical center environment. They are being brought here by "Strikeouts for Troops," a non-profit organization founded by San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito, whose team trains in Scottsdale. The Marines will be treated to several spring training games as part of their time in the Valley.

The group of Purple Heart recipients will be guests of honor at a dinner attended by about 125 people on the evening of their arrival. Guest speaker at the appreciation dinner will be former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, himself a Purple Heart recipient in the Vietnam War.

More information on the group can be found at More information on the Military Family Support Group can be found at

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