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 secret. Not -- things that interest. Some of which might just. To sit it's okay. Episode of this and to be who you would -- show. Cheers rob Bradford. Through its -- social once again with the Swiss aren't. It's to -- homes. Which also mentioned that the breakfast show is sponsored once again by schools distinctive clothing people make you look so -- did. Main -- knowingly insurance Johnny welcome back. Thank you very much and -- -- record yesterday. It's the second time someone said that to me thank you. Today is a very special Memorial Day bright coach oh and -- do that we have John here to talk about it for a couple different reasons number one he does so miles from the troops. So much for the veterans by. I've fighting also in trusting the career path that Johnny could've taken that you could have taken if you could talk a little bit up though. How baseball but baseball didn't work out what was your plan. -- -- 2001. Which was my second year junior college and -- in stature look different junior college he still those are superstars I hit like you know 505. Feet. You know the twenty -- rounds in forty gains -- -- cartoon numbers if you will. Are all right. For right now young -- had been like 310. They like twelve all rounds. Just kinda just pointed and I wasn't really prepared. You know hit. That the job force in the cubicle if you will. Tom was during outdoors men you know. Didn't have any college starship friend he whine all the way down. So my two years junior college eligibility was up. Obviously. You know and -- the morning NAM and obviously you know money 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 branching. Who's gonna head out. When you so you actually rolled. And 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 -- and then hit my growth spurts you know from a sixteen it's going one round or growing. And I -- you know in the voiced out to be you know make 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 and eighty dealer pound backpack -- -- you know for miles. And talking the recruiter training Saturday is a guy you know that's going to be tough fallen back you know was elected -- you know -- kind of physical -- houses you know college athlete and was -- in the works in the in the June draft happened and that kind of turn things reflect -- -- 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 patriotism and -- help the troops. You know American -- 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. In Vietnam. Just kind of following their lifestyle and how they approach you know their 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 -- tell you. The incident. Pat Tillman and if you read much on matter people know much about that. 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 file point two. 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 then was killed in action. What do you remember -- -- when that news came out about how you were field. Boy -- came out that he left or that he well this I guess maybe the wind when it became out there she 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 our people were feeling even professional athletes and people at high high levels of their profession. What they were really sunken. And what really. Native beyond real was 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 in the next soldier used anywhere you know regardless of you know what you're -- college and what you -- in the NFL. And to Nina wrote so in about how real was and how real the guy he was and you know without even knowing the guy found myself looking up to him she's been you know a true professional pictures soldier. And and again not that he's more important -- the guy next room but you know which -- NFL background all the stuff we we have outlets that and more than. Yes on the the other ones. By. And it kind of you know find myself following you know has passed then of course you know the tragic shooting and in the movies and the books. Yeah I think we're Russa is how we left just you know white smoke deal just on here like man that 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 up you know working construction a little bit you know odd jobs and this guy 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 or -- it was fine but just. -- extremely eye opening about what they don't have over there which is pretty much. I couldn't broad relayed 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 -- every -- essentials. And so that's my. You know. Helping hand that your 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 a motor for broke down Hummer. We've sent over -- composed beyond. You know site 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 -- a direct and help those guys. You know him and this year he's done a lot of years -- a -- 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 -- that might have been a notch up from maybe anything you experience. He had been a lot of the hospitals actually hadn't been a Walter Reed before but on. Way. I kind of -- sink into the guys. That this is. Not really ideal but just a wouldn't 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 weren't done or some and there on the battlefield and they didn't you know run -- you know 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 casinos guys in their mental state their physical state with the smiles and 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 -- thing you suggested 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 Nordstrom the emotions are going through your. Yeah you know I think Memorial Day which is cool as ever flies on American flag -- -- 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 for and you know that's Austin. Just you know how the whole place is really you know fought an American flag -- cool to see school 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 virus over but we're we're. You think -- all the -- we've lost you know we lose any lies bright and had his day you know. So it's the same time as 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. Catch yourself and give yourself full moments silence and think the people you know who. Earn their wings if you will for for our country and our safety. All right thanks for joining us and -- Brad -- tomorrow absolutely and you have great.

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