Shelton military veteran gets ‘all-star’ treatment at Fenway Park

Shelton resident George Eldridge, a Marine Corps veteran, recently participated in a special batting camp at Fenway Park in Boston.

On July 3, CVS Caremark and the Boston Red Sox provided a dream day experience to nearly 20 disabled military veterans from across New England — including three from the greater New Haven region.

The camp included batting practice on the field, hitting tips from Red Sox hitting coaches Greg Colbrunn and Victor Rodriguez, and tickets to the evening's game against the San Diego Padres.

The day enabled CVS Caremark and the Red Sox, on the eve of Independence Day, to express their gratitude to disabled military veterans for their service.

Taking swings, ballpark tour, game tickets

Through the CVS Caremark baseball camp, the veterans received all-star treatment at Fenway Park — working closely with the two Red Sox hitting coaches, taking swings at the Green Monster, and enjoying lunch in the Red Sox dugout.

The veterans also were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic ballpark, as well as tickets to that night’s game in the CVS Pharmacy family section.

This is the third year the baseball camp for disabled veterans has taken place. In addition to Eldridge, the participating local veterans were Marine veteran George French of Derby and Army veteran Sean Pesce of West Haven.

Veterans invited through the VA

Participating veterans were invited by CVS Caremark through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New England Adaptive Sports Program. The program operates through the VA Boston Healthcare System.

Jenny McLaughlin, adaptive sports case manager of the VA Boston Healthcare System, said, “Each and every veteran looked forward to this event and were honored to be invited to participate.”

Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of corporate communications and community relations for CVS Caremark, said it’s nice to be able to recognize military veterans for serving the country.

“It’s heartwarming to see these brave men and women enjoying a day of fun, camaraderie and one of America’s favorite pastimes,” she said.

CVS Caremark’s involvement

Through the years, CVS Caremark has provided charitable support to military and veteran-focused organizations, including the National Guard, Fisher House, Operation Military Embrace and USO. The company has worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program to identify and hire veterans, and has established a colleague resource group for veterans — called Valor —  within CVS Caremark.

CVS Caremark is a Rhode-Island-based drug retail, pharmaceutical management and medical clinic company that is perhaps best known in this area for operating the CVS Pharmacy chain.