WEEI>On Demand>>Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes talks importance of Memorial Day, how he almost became a Marine

Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes talks importance of Memorial Day, how he almost became a Marine

May 25, 2014|

Rob Bradford is joined by Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes, who talks about how he almost joined the military after believing his future in baseball may be in doubt. Gomes also discusses why he has made such an effort to support the troops throughout his playing career.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

It's nice to. Not sure things that interest. -- which -- just. To sit there -- okay. Episode of this and to be who you would wind you know. Usually rob Bradford. It's route social once again we'll switch aren't. It's just -- -- Which also mentioned that the breakfast show is sponsored once again by schools distinctive clothing people make you look so -- did. Gain -- knowingly insurance Johnny welcome back. Thank you very much in -- -- gorgeous today. It's the second time someone said that to me thank you. Today is a very special Memorial Day brought coach and it's do that we have John here and talk about it for a couple different reasons number one he does so my guess for the troops. So much for the veterans by. I've fighting also -- trusting the career path that Johnny could have taken that you could have taken if you could talk a little bit about oh. How baseball -- baseball didn't work out what was your plan. You know it's 2001. Which was my second year junior college and mean stature look different junior college he still those are superstars I hit like you know 505. Feet. You know the twenty hole rounds in forty games though he's cartoon numbers if you will. Numbers are all right. For right now you know men had been like 32 and. They like twelve home runs. Just kinda just pointed in. I wasn't really prepared. You know hit. It's -- job force in the cubicle if you will. Tom was during outdoorsman you know. Didn't have any college scholarships for and do you whine all the way down -- three game. So my two years junior college eligibility was up. Obviously. You know you know the money -- -- an obvious you know more for college and whatnot so. Being patriotic as I was in not really because it was my last choice but you know enrolled in the service and enrolled in the Marines branch and who's gonna head out. When you so you actually rolled. On well. I was -- and goes I guess -- further I was in a car accident for Italian car accident last sixteen. And really set me back as far as my age with back problems. Not that I am happen now but it was really from my acting tweaked and then hit my growth spurts you know from a sixteen between one -- or growing. And I -- you know in the Boy Scouts -- you know make it all the way up to an eagle scout you can get out of some of that you know real hard -- boot camp which it was and which I wanted to get out of basically. I was having hard times carrying backpacks at the time. And obviously the boot camp you know -- dealer pound backpack uphill you know for miles. And talking the recruiter turn again today is a guy you know -- going to be tough fallen back you know -- you -- to do you know and kind of physical tests houses you know college athlete and was -- in the works in the in the June draft happened and that kind of turn things reflect those -- back to kind of the -- the reason why that you want to join -- you said your patriotic worded that what did that stem from. Yeah I guess you know with my own. You know Patriot zone and -- -- the troops. You know American flags stuff people think it's kind of like in my blind you know maybe a father grandfather great grandfather and -- in my family has been in the service. But. I just you know the more I guess younger watching videos and in reading out and -- Just kind of following their lifestyle and how they approach you know there their troops. You know how they approach teamwork and kinda. You know found some. Some common things in baseball in the team being here so we got into a more. And I tell you. The incident. Pat Tillman and if you read much on matter people know much about that but. That. That hit me pretty hard and not that I wanted to follow his path but you know that pack has now been played so you know like you know I went to. It that's exactly what is the mask was there one moment or one time and and clearly the Pat Tillman had a huge influence on you. For people who don't understand Pat Tillman what is open. NFL football player great Arizona State football player trust what he was doing after 9/11 and and join the service and and was killed in action. What do you remember a blow when that news came out about how you were field. Boy -- came out that he left or that he pan out well this I guess maybe the wind when it became out there -- was actually gonna take this road because. After 9/11 this -- people should understand the feeling the emotions and that kind of symbolize a lot of what was going on them a lot of -- people were feeling even professional athletes and people that high high levels of their profession. What they were really sunken. And what really. Native beyond real was how there was no story I mean he just packed his bags and left and he didn't want a story he didn't want. You know was. Reality show he now you know all this stuff and she didn't wanna be you know more important than the next soldier used anywhere you know regardless of you know what you in college and what you -- in the NFL. And to need to wrote something about how real was and how real the guy he was and you know without even knowing that guy found myself looking up to him just been you know a true professional pitchers soldier. And and again not that he's more important than the guy next room but you know which is NFL background all the stuff we we have outlets to him more than. Yes -- the the other ones. And it kind of you know find myself following you know has passed -- of course you know the tragic shooting in the in the movies in the books stuff. Yeah I think whoever is on is how we left just time you know white smoke deal just I'm here -- like man that's so cool. Well and and you get into your career as a Major League Baseball player and and and enjoying the the service was wasn't an option but what you have done is tried to affects the military tried to affect veterans of a lot of different ways. When did you really start to you've been on I can do this for these guys. I guess. In just past scene of the troops you know and -- -- the throw out some of the first pitches. Get to know a couple you know may be you know coming -- you know working construction a little bit you know odd jobs and this guy's serves that guys -- couple buddies. You know taken off and coming back. And just kind of finding out what goes on over there. And. Not that you would think. You know it was normal -- -- it was fine but just. Just extremely eye opening about what they don't have over there which is pretty much. I couldn't wrote recently that these guys are protecting our freedom protect and our country. Protecting. You know the flag you know all our rights and NATO have. You know getting all you know politically here just there every game essentials. And so that's my. You know. Helping hand -- -- yet and it is to get those guys what they need in the future on the ground anything from. Toothpaste to wool socks to protein powder to batteries. Sunglasses to. You know I mean we've sent over we send over notre for a broke down -- We've sent over -- composed beyond. You know -- and fresh water from the stream I mean anything so real eye opening to what they don't have a fair there. And in my profession and kind of having you know loud voice at times to be a -- and help those guys. You know him and this year he's done a lot of years personalized like you said you've had heard a lot of messages from the people who have been overt action and serving. By I would imagine what you guys went through this year when you went to Walter would be that might have been a notch up from maybe anything you've experienced. He had been a lot of the hospitals actually hadn't been a Walter -- before but on. Way. I kind of -- sink into the guys. That this is. Not really ideal but just a would have know how real it is it wasn't like they got injured you know in those prosthetics for just thrown on. I mean I was a mess. You know. You know not to you know paint you know the gruesome picture but really terror hopefully sink home like what those guys did you know it wasn't like. You know it was a a surgery. To where there you know legs amputated I mean. It was a bomb you know our -- ourselves in. There on the battlefield and they didn't you know run -- you know the the best Ivy League college you know doctors you know. So on and I think you know a lot of guys there was really eye opening which -- should be in. And then at the same time just seen those guys in their mental state their physical state with the smiles they had on their faces. Yes we're just gonna last a little bit but you know just knowing we had that effect to do that. Was pretty special. You know Moss thing you suggest you know Memorial Day when Memorial Day comes around. We try to influence the kids in and people say listen this is just a day off from work to -- a day off from school but this is why we're celebrating this. For you were Memorial Day rolls around what's your feeling on it and -- -- the emotions are going through your. Yeah you know I think Memorial Day which is close verify as an American flag in honor really sunk in you know as a young kid just kind of how cool was you -- find an American flag and you know what it stands foreign. You know that's Austin. Just you know how the whole place is really you know fought an American flag it's cool to see -- site. But at same time you know this isn't like. You know we're not remembering. Too many happy things you know when you really break it down you know we're not celebrating you know our servicemen were basically celebrating. You know all of the all of that now Royce over that we're we're. You think -- all the -- we've lost you know we lose any lies -- and -- day you know. So it's the same time -- you know like you said it's not a day off working a day off school. I mean you know you definitely you know got to. Catch yourself and give yourself full moment's silence and think the people you know who. Earn their wings if you will for for our country and our safety. Our thanks for joining us and -- Brad Fisher tomorrow -- absolutely and you have great.

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