More than 15 Nats players, coaches and broadcasters visited Walter Reed on Tuesday, visiting inpatients in the hospital as well as those working on their physical therapy at the Military Advanced Training Center (MATC). The players signed autographs, posed for photos and spent time talking to the veterans.
“It really shows you who the real heroes are,” Chad Tracy told the Washington Times. “It helps you kind of wrap your head around what those guys have done for us, the sacrifices they have made. I met a guy today who had been through 49 surgeries. I’ve been through four or five myself, just to imagine a guy going through almost 50 surgeries, to see he was still a driven, confident, leader of a man, really touched me.”
Ryan Mattheus, who remembered some veterans from last year’s visit, was also impacted by the reality of what this particular group of fans has gone through.
“The sacrifices those guys make, wherever they’re serving, they’re pretty much giving up their lives to go fight for our freedom,” he said. “A couple of them were talking to us about how big a deal it is for them to stand there on the concourse and see the fans and all of us standing up for them.
“For what they do? What we do is minimal. It’s the least we can do, I think.”