Doug Fister checks in from the USO Tour

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by Doug Fister
Introduction by Nicole Murray

photo 2 (6)When Doug Fister was just a boy – still growing into his towering 6-foot-8 frame — he stood on the flight line with his grandfather as the planes soared past.

Fister, 30, has pitched on some of baseball’s grandest stages. He has competed against the best and proven himself amongst the game’s elite. And yet he is never more affected than standing on the baseline with his teammates in those few minutes before the first pitch is thrown, listening to the final notes of the national anthem. Every time, he’s right back on that flight line, a boy spending time with his grandfather, now a grown man playing a young boy’s game.

***

photo 4 (5)Proudly wearing the Washington Nationals’ patriotic jersey, featuring a stars and stripes Curly W, Fister is currently traveling the world on the USO Holiday Tour led by the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey.

As General Dempsey wraps up his fourth and final USO tour as Chairman, and his 41-year career comes to a close when he retires this year, Fister is joining him on stage this holiday season, bringing a much needed touch of home to troops and military families stationed overseas.

Visiting five countries in less than a week, Fister has shaken thousands of hands, smiled for countless ‘selfies’ and joined his fellow tour members in a star-studded USO show every night. He can’t tell a joke, like comedian Rob Riggle, or sing, like country music artist Kellie Picker, but he’s bringing America’s favorite pastime to those serving overseas. His favorite moments, though, seem to have been with those outside of the spotlight – listening to stories of service, sacrifice and loved ones back home.

For more on how much of an impact this USO tour has had on Fister, though, why don’t we just let him tell you in his own words?

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photo 5 (5)Doug Fister: “The Chairman USO Holiday Tour has been an unforgettable experience so far. We’ve been to three different countries in just four days and have covered so much ground in between.

The places we’ve visited have been beautiful and the troops and military families have been so welcoming. It’s been a true pleasure.

But, more importantly, we’ve had the opportunity to speak with some of the service men and women who are stationed abroad. Truly, the most memorable moments of this USO tour have been when I’ve gotten to listen to their stories and learn how they’ve gotten here, and the relationships they’ve built with one another along the way. 

photo 1 (8)We have a great group of people touring with us, too. The actors and actresses, and other athletes who have come along, are such inspiring people.

They exude such strong patriotism, setting such a great example to those around them of what it means to be a true American. I am so grateful to be included on such a wonderful USO tour — accompanied by the Chairman himself, General Dempsey; it has been an incredible and honorable experience.  

We’re excited to continue our voyage and see just what else is in store for us.

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