The San Diego Padres continued their involvement with Athletes for Hope on Friday, May 27th with a stop at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Three of the team’s pitchers, Tim Stauffer, Aaron Harang, and Luke Gregerson, visited the historic medical center which specializes in amputation and brain surgery rehabilitation. The players spent an hour at the hospital before a 3-game series with the Washington Nationals on Memorial Day Weekend.
The Padres spent their time interacting with the veterans and their families. In addition, the athletes signed autographs and left Padres memorabilia for the soldiers. While some soldiers were away from the hospital with family for the holiday, those present in their rooms were delighted to meet the Major League Baseball players. Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California’s 12th district was also visiting the hospital and the veterans. She thanked the athletes for their kind hearts and willingness to give back to our Armed Forces who sacrifice tremendously for all Americans.
The highlight of the day was when the players met with a patient who has been a Padres fan his entire life. The patient donned his San Diego jersey and traveled across the hospital to the ward where the players were visiting. Stauffer, Harang, and Gregerson were humbled by the soldier’s admiration and gladly posed for a personal photo with him.
The visit to Walter Reed is part of an initiative by the San Diego Padres to reach out to members of the Armed Forces and thank them for their service.
“It’s kind of hard to put into words. It’s a great experience, definitely something everyone should do.” – Luke Gregerson