Salute

Some of us went over to Walter Reed Medical Center today and talked to some of the vets there. It was all similar injuries — it was mostly from IEDs and stuff like that. The stories were so similar. We were telling them how most of the time you go into a hospital and you just want to get out, but those guys were in totally different spirits. They’re so thankful at what the doctors are doing and amazed at the work the staff has done on them and all their brothers in there. It was an eye opening experience, and it was good to see how well those guys are doing. They were in such great spirits and they’re happy to be alive. The ones we saw were doing real well.

You know they’re watching you on TV, and you want to make sure you’re giving everything you can because they don’t have the opportunity to do the same thing, especially in the situation they’re in right now. All of them were so thankful we came in. You feel guilty in a way. They’re sacrificing their lives and bodies out there for all of us. It’s sad that so many people have forgotten about them. I think more people need to open their eyes, especially people in our shoes who have some fame and notoriety, and they need to get down there and donate some of their time and see those guys and talk to them.

They were so happy to see us. One of the guys who was leading us around was tearing up towards the end. He was like, “You brought Chicago to me — I miss home. We thank you so much.” We felt guilty. We didn’t do anything — we’re just playing a game. You have to realize as a player how much your play and winning ballgames means to these guys, especially the troops overseas.

Who went? It was Dempster, “Bussy,” Heilman, Theriot, Koyie and Hoffpauir. We were there a couple hours at least. We just took our time in every room and hung out with the guys. They told us some stories about experiences over there and how they got hurt and stuff like that. They were really open. It was hard. They keep reminding you how happy they are to see you there — it gives them a break. They see their families all the time and they see a lot of the same faces. They really seemed to appreciate us stopping by.

I wear a bracelet in support of the troops. My buddy was over in Iraq three years ago, and he had a year stint there. He was able to get out of there scot-free. He’s older, and he’s doing recruiting stuff in San Antonio now. Ever since he went over, I’ve worn this. Sometimes it’ll break, so I have to order a couple more off the Internet. It’s something — I want them to know they’re always in my heart. Now I have a couple more faces to put the bracelet to.

A lot of them were Cubs fans. We met a Houston fan. They didn’t care. They were happy to see us. Otis put together some shirts and hats. It was kind of an unexpected thing. I just felt like going over there. It was a good thing — we were able to get them some signed balls. There were a couple guys who were huge Cubs fans and they had pennants on the doors and their parents had Cubs hats on and we took a lot of pictures. We had a great time.

— Reed

32 Comments

None of us ever know how that one kind word that we speak to someone can change their day. Thank you to you and your teammates for taking the time to visit some true American Heroes.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

It’s always nice getting to meet veterans and to get to here about stories from their time in the wars. Always respect the vets.
-Dillon
http://dillonm.mlblogs.com

I think it was incredible of you guys to go visit these troops and brighten their day. I can tell by what you wrote it meant the world to them and as always, you guys know how to make people happy. People do forget how important troops are and it’s great to know that there are others who do. They make it possible for us to go and see the cubs games or anything for that matter. I think it’s great that you wear the braclet in support of the troops, I see you with it on when you bat. It’s a great idea to show how important they are and I love it. Again it’s great to hear you made someone’s day and hopefully it’s an experience they won’t forget.

Roxy

Thanks for taking the time to visit the vets. We have so much to thank them for, but so few people remember them after they come home. Nice job!

I’ll be a senior in high school and could not find a job for the summer, so instead, I began volunteering at the Hines VA out in Berwyn. After only 4 weeks there, I truly believe there is nothing more generous than donating time to war veterans. Although we do many recreational activities like golfing and archery, their favorite things to do are talk to volunteers or visitors. They absolutely love any company other than nurses or doctors because they can discuss topics other than illness, pain, medicine, etc. and can sort of become themselves again. Most of the veterans I associate with are from either Vietnam or Korea (the wars you usually learn about in textbooks), and it is so much more rewarding to hear their personal experiences, especially since I was not alive during that time. Thank you so much for making a visit to them; you do not know how much they appreciate it and how wonderful you made their day.

Elizabeth

Who’s “Bussy”?

Being an Air Force Brat, Veteran and Spouse I can only imagine what it meant to those you visited! What a GREAT way to make someone’s day! Thank you all for taking the time visit those Heroes!
Traci

Thanks Reed for supporting our troops and for reporting back to us! You guys could have easily gone to the Medical Center and not reported back to us how it went, but pro athletes need to share their great stories with the general public! Not many people can affect people’s lives like you guys can, so the fact that you did and told us about it, makes us appreciate you guys and our troops that much more! Thanks again, and help get us in the playoffs (that’s the 1st goal 🙂 ) GO CUBS GO!!!

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!!

Hey Reed,

Thanks for taking the time to visit our wounded warriors. You’re right, we need to open our eyes to the sacrifices our servicemen and women are making over there. I have opportunities to speak with veterans quite frequently, and it’s humbling. You really begin to understand why you’re free. Anyway, thanks for supporting the troops!

http://www.productsforgood.com/andyc

Good Morning Reed and Everyone,
Thank you for visiting the vets. It may not seem like much, being that the vets bring it all on the battlefield and you bring it on the ball field. But we need both. The vets need their ball players, those games, the memories of better times. I am not a vet but both of my kids have been in the service since 1999. 1997 I found out I had Multiple Myeloma an incurable cancer that affects the bone marrow. I had a stem cell transplant in Feb. 1998 and the one thing that helped me endure was my focus on the Chicago Bears. I had a copy of Super Bowl XX and that game showed me how I should fight the cancer. I needed and found inspiration through a game. Reed, that is what you bring to the table. Inspiration. The home run you took away from Prince still gives me a great big smile and pride. Keep being you and we will keep going.
Thanks again,
Forever your,
BuddyLars

Good Morning Reed and Everyone,
Thank you for visiting the vets. It may not seem like much, being that the vets bring it all on the battlefield and you bring it on the ball field. But we need both. The vets need their ball players, those games, the memories of better times. I am not a vet but both of my kids have been in the service since 1999. 1997 I found out I had Multiple Myeloma an incurable cancer that affects the bone marrow. I had a stem cell transplant in Feb. 1998 and the one thing that helped me endure was my focus on the Chicago Bears. I had a copy of Super Bowl XX and that game showed me how I should fight the cancer. I needed and found inspiration through a game. Reed, that is what you bring to the table. Inspiration. The home run you took away from Prince still gives me a great big smile and pride. Keep being you and we will keep going.
Thanks again,
Forever your,
BuddyLars

REED! When are they gonna bench Bradley and give you the starts in Right or Center? If Kosuke wasnt my fav cubbie, id be all for you in Center. I think yall both cover amazing ground out in center, so our defense would be tops with the two of you out there on a more regular basis. Plus, you come through with the clutch hits….you won me as a fan last year with your pinch hitting prowress. Anyways, THANKYOU for not losing last night to the worst team in MLB. Lets turn things around in the second half! Say Hey, or Koneecheewha to Kosuke for me. Hes doing great in leadoff position. My 5 year old chants Kosuke Fukudome during televised games, even when you guys are fielding. Oh, yeah, we named our new Husky Kosuke!!!!

Great post. You have to love hearing about stuff like this.

To whomever it was that asked, I believe that “Bussy” would be Tim Buss (strength and conditioning coach.)

These young people who are fighting in the name of our country deserve to feel special. Their sacrifices are beyond what most of us can imagine. Thanks for visiting them. Also, Reed…we are big Cubbie fans because I was born in Chicago, but I’ve lived in Temecula for 13 years and having you as our own baseball hero is exciting. I’m going to attend the Cubs/Padre game on August 18 and I’m hoping that I get to see you play more than just the ninth inning. You’re a terrific player. Thanks for the great sports show.

Reed,
That was great of you guys to visit the vets. As a nurse I know how lonely and depressing a long hospital stay can be for patients. Those vets will never forget you guys for coming to see them. It is nice to see that not all profesional athletes are selfish, self-involved jerks. It only takes a little time out of your day to really bring a whole lot of happiness to some one’s life. If our wounded soldiers don’t deserve that who does. God bless you and your fellow Cubbies for doing that. Reed, not only are you a great ballplayer but an outstanding person as well. Keep up the great work and go get em in Philly. Mary R.

reed,
what a class act that was. where can i get a bracelet? go cubs!

As an active duty Marine that means a lot to me to hear about you guys going to visit the wounded warriors.

You probably made their day for about the next couple of months.

Semper Fi.

As an active duty Marine that means a lot to me to hear about you guys going to visit the wounded warriors.

You probably made their day for about the next couple of months.

Semper Fi.

Reed, Thanks for sharing you and the other players time for the veterans. They all give so much. You players on the other hand also give more than you realize to them with your playing the game as professionals. They as well as all of us need our “time to think of other things rather than the economy etc.” that watching the Cubs play like you all did last night is really special.
Thanks again and keep up the good work. Some day I am hoping to seeing you in center field daily.

~Reed~
Thank you for sharing this story. It’s so heart warming to read that no matter how busy you guys get you can take the time out to go visit our vets. This team never ceases to amaze me and it’s times like this that just renew my love for our Cubbies. This is a team of stand up guys and everyday whether we win or lose, we see this in everything you do. I, too, wear a bracelet for the troops when I’m not working (I work in food so I can’t wear it there) and many times have supported a soldier through anysoldier.com. You guys are incredible and played some amazing baseball this last four days. Let’s take it to the Phillies. Go Cubs Go!
~Milli~

As a disabled vet, I experienced a group of visiting “show biz” people while I was in a hospital in asia. It made me feel great and connected to the wider world. You can’t describe the feeling and what it means. Thanks you cubbies for making the trip to the DC hospital.

Reed,

Thank you! As an 26 year active duty soldier, we truly appreciate you and your buddies taking time out to visit the troops. God bless you and the guys on and off the field.
Go Cubs!

I was in Desert Storm and when I got back a friend gave me a few tickets to the Cubs game. I got to meet Sandberg and Dawson. It really felt great! My son is in Iraq now and is a huge Cubs fan. Thank you for taking the extra time to stop by and see our military men and women serving out country. I know it must have meant soooo much to them.

On another note, I was at the game on Friday. Z fielded a bunt and threw to Theriot at 2nd. I think we could have had a double play if Theriot really thought more before throwing. Can you remind him when Fonty is covering 1st to throw about 18 inches lower??

Thanks again for spending the time with our military.

Jim

I really respect you guys. I am a Tribe fan, but reading this article.. it was just so great of you to do something like this. Our military risks their lives for us, & they fight for our freedom. If it wasn’t for them, I dont know where we would be now. This is such a great story, thanks for blogging about it.http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/

-TC

Dear Reed Johnson, Dempster, “Bussy,” Heilman, Theriot, Koyie and Hoffpauir:

Thank you for your kindness and support of our injured Heroes at Walter Reed. As a veteran of the armed services, I can’t begin to tell you how much your visit meant to those fine men and women. I’m sure you saw their appreciation in their eyes.

You guys are what is right about baseball. Everyone of you guys give your all on the field and it’s very nice to see you go above and beyond off the field.

Have a great season!
Joe

HEY REEDER, I WISH THERE WERE MORE GUYS LIKE YOU AND YOUR TEAM MATES. YOU’RE RIGHT, PEOPLE IN HOSPITALS REALLY DO APPRECIATE YOU VISITING THEM. IT BRINGS SOME JOY TO THEM AND THEY’LL BE TALKING ABOUT THAT FOR QUITE AWHILE. OUR SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN DESERVE OUR THANKS AND RESPECT ALONG WITH ALL THE VETS THAT HAVE SACRIFICED, SO WE CAN HAVE THE FREEDOM TO GO TO THE BALLPARK AND WATCH YOU. IT WOULDN’T HURT FOR A FEW MORE OF OUR PROFESSIONAL SPORTS FIGURES TO TAKE THE TIME TO SIGN A FEW AUTOGRAPHS FOR THE KIDS TOO. HAVE A GOOD WEEK KID. FROM SO CAL. S.C.

I just wanted to thank you for being the type of ballplayer and person that I can use as an example for my son. I tell him to play hard and give it your all just like reed does. Thank you for donating your time to the troops. Go CUBS!

I just wanted to thank you for being the type of ballplayer and person that I can use as an example for my son. I tell him to play hard and give it your all just like reed does. Thank you for donating your time to the troops. Go CUBS!

Thanx for remembering those who serve.
Today I saw the Phillie 2nd baseman block the bag with his calf. That’s why Ty Cobb sharpened his cletes! Put your leg between sharp edges and the bag … expect a bloody aftermath. Bonehead! By the way, the Cubs have exposed a weakness in the Phillie defense … steal on them at will!

Hey guido, nice blog. Real cool of you guys to stop and say hi to all the servicemen there. Hey is the braclet for Jimmy? And say hi to the family for me.
Temec/ Phil R.

Thank you for sharing your commitment, caring, and understanding of veterans and servicemen. It’s something we don’t see or hear about enough of today.

I am an app developer for the IPhone and am coming out with a game called BEAT THE COOLER http://www.beatthecooler.com in 7-10 days. It is a tongue-in-cheek game where the fans get to beat the cooler just like the pros do…if they’re having a bad day. It’s addictive, fun, and very #-D graphic, cutting edge cool.

I’ve included the promo video at

If you dig it, I’d like to send you a free copy of the game when it becomes available for distribution to the public, if you have an IPhone or IPod Touch.

Thanks,

Jeremy Bargiel

Reed…Thanks for your support to us Troops. I know for a fact that it meant a lot to them. I have done 2 tours, and lucky haven’t been hit yet. Gearing up for my 3rd. Thank you for being such a supporter and give the Reds hell today. I will be watching on WGN from Fort Bragg. GO CUBS GO!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: