Helping Heroes Heal

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There are some things in life that, no matter how many times you experience them, are always striking. One of the more extraordinary aspects of the Washington Nationals recent visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda was the mutual admiration and gratitude from both the players and the veterans and families they visited. It is a sentiment often expressed by both sides, but the repetition of thanks does not draw away from its significance.

As they have done annually since 2005, a group of Nationals players and coaches made the trek before Tuesday night’s game to spend a couple of hours with wounded veterans recovering at Walter Reed. A total of 11 players – Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond, Zach Duke, Danny Espinosa, Adam LaRoche, Steve Lombardozzi, Ryan Mattheus, Tyler Moore, Craig Stammen, Drew Storen and Chad Tracy – along with coaches Randy Knorr and Jim Lett and broadcasters Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler visited with inpatients in the hospital as well as those working on their physical therapy at the Military Advanced Training Center (MATC). In between signing autographs and posing for photos, the team spent time listening to individual stories and thanking the veterans for their service. The ability to honor  members of our military is a unique opportunity that comes with playing here in D.C., one that Nationals players are keenly aware of.

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Of course, that support did not end with Tuesday’s visit. The Nationals will kick off the Patriotic Series, presented by SAIC, this Saturday, April 27 with Military Appreciation Day as they take on the Cincinnati Reds. Military members – active duty, dependent, reservist, or retiree – with a valid military ID will receive two free tickets, to that night’s game while supplies last, where Nationals players will sport their Patriotic Blue uniforms for the first time this year. Please visit http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ticketing/military.jsp for more details.

For more information on the Washington Nationals Military Initiatives, visit http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/community/military_initiative.jsp

2 Comments

I am in the Army and was present for this wonderful event! I have to say every player was very engaging, and eagerly willing to take pictures and sign autographs. The caring nature of the players was very evident when I spoke to Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa. As a matter of fact, Danny remembered me from Nats Fest! It was a great day to be able to meet our players. Best day ever!

So proud of all of you…

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