It's amazing how blessed we are in the US and there were many that fought for it. To all that have served thank you and Happy Memorial Day. The freedom and liberties that we enjoy everyday are because of the men of the women who served, and some cases died serving, our country.
For sports fans it’s hard to imagine some of the athletes on our favorite teams being amongst the brave soldiers defending our great nation, but there have actually been thousands that did just that.
Here is just a handful that I’ve dug up some quick facts on…
Ted Williams - The baseball Hall of Famer was not only considered as one of the greatest hitters to ever live, but he was also a pilot in the WWII, as well as the Korean War, and flew as John Glenn's wingman. The Red Sox great was assigned to Marine Corps Fighter Squadron (VMF) 311 during Korea flying the F-9F Panther. He flew 37 combat missions in 1952-1953.
Jack Lummus - This New York Giants end earned the Medal of Honor for his actions on Iwo Jima in 1945. The Marine Corps First Lieutenant died when he stepped on a landmine after singlehandedly dispatching several dozen Japanese.
Rocky Bleier - He served in the Army during Vietnam. The Notre Dame standout was as an infantryman. He suffered severe leg wounds in combat, but overcame his injuries and went on to a great 12-year career with the Steelers.
Bob Feller – The Indian enlisted in the Navy two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He served on the battleship Alabama in the Pacific. Despite serving for four years, he went on to an impressive Major League career as he won 266 games and struck out 2,581 batters during his 18-year career. He also hurled three no-hitters.
Christy Mathewson - The Hall of Fame pitcher, accidentally inhaled poison mustard gas in World War I, which led to his contracting tuberculosis that killed him in 1925.
Pat Tillman – We all remember the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive back who served in the Army from 2002 to '04. On April 22, 2004, he was killed in a friendly-fire incident while on patrol in Afghanistan. Tillman opted to walk away from his NFL career and join the military after being inspired by the events of 9/11.
Al Blozis - The All-Pro tackle for the New York Giants was killed in France in World War II.
Yogi Berra – He was a New York Yankees' farm hand when he was drafted. He operated a machine gun on a Navy rocket boat off Omaha Beach on D-Day.
DID YOU KNOW?
-- 416,800 American servicemen died during the war and 133 were Major League baseball players (COMPLETE LIST)