There are many professional athletes who willingly said yes when their names were called in the service of their country. Weather walking away from the game at the peak of their careers or just starting to make a name for themselves in the field of sports, these athletes never hesitated and they willingly packed their bags and bravely served their country even at the risk of losing their lives.
Below are the names of some famous athletes who served in the military
1. Bob Feller
In December 9, 1941, two days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Bob Feller enlisted for service at the height of his Baseball career. Instead of becoming the greatest baseball player of all time, Feller bravely and voluntarily went to war to defend his country. After the war, and almost 4 years of military service, he returned to the game he loved the most. Feller retired with some mean stats under his belt and a lot of military awards on the side.
2. Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra was a three time baseball MVP during his time with the Yankees. But before he became a great baseball player, Berra was the gunner on the boat that landed in Normandy two days after D-day. This may be the reason why Berra seems to feel no pressure even if the bases are loaded and with the game on the line.
3. Pat Tillman
Pat Tillman’s story is very well documented that most Americans are familiar with it. Tillman had an amazing year in 2000 playing for the Arizona Cardinals. In 2011, Days before the 9/11 attacks, Tillman went back to work as a safety. At the end of the season, Tillman retired from his football career and became an Army Ranger. He was then stationed in Afghanistan. Tillman met his end when he was hit by a friendly fire in Afghanistan in April 2004. Tillman’s death became a strong reminder of all the sacrifices and the bravery that is embodied by all enlisted men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.
4. Ted Williams
Ted Williams was at the prime of his baseball career with the Red Sox when he was also serving as a pilot and flight instructor during World War II and the Korean War. Williams was considered as the game’s greatest hitter. He was appreciated both for his bravery as a soldier and his skills as a baseball player. People even wondered what he would have accomplished and reached as a baseball player if he did not serve in two wars.
5. Warren Spahn
Warren Spahn accomplished many things in the baseball field when he played for the Braves. But his accomplishments as a soldier overshadowed all of that. Spahn was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star because of his bravery in the Battle of the Bulge during the final stages of the Second World War.
6. David Robinson
Before Tim Duncan became the face of the San Antonio Spurs franchise, David Robinson was the king of San Antonio Basketball. This 7 feet tall gentle giant first served two years on submarines before he embarked on his NBA career. When Robinson retired from the game, he was considered as one of the greatest centers to play the game of basketball and his number was also retired by the Spurs.
7. Hank Greenberg
When Hank Greenberg was drafted in 1940, he was still playing for the Detroit Tigers. He was initially found to be ineligible for service due to a medical condition. However, this did not stop Greenberg’s desire to serve his country. He volunteered in the Air Force to scout base locations in the Far East.
8. Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson was a member of the first black tank battalion during the Second World War. His bravery in battle was carried upon when Jackie played for the Dodgers Baseball Team. Not only did he break baseball bats but he was also one of the first black players to break the color barrier in the game of baseball.
9. Rocky Marciano
Rocky Marciano was widely regarded as the greatest boxer who ever lived. He was undefeated in 49 professional fights (43 by knockout) when he retired from boxing. Rocky started to box when he was drafted into the army in 1943. He first fought in the amateurs where he won the Amateur boxing tournament that was organized by the Army in 1946. When the War ended, Rocky began his professional career in boxing and won his first 16 fights by TKO. In 1952, Rocky Marciano won the World Heavyweight Championship. He defended his belt six times and then retired as the only undefeated fighter in history.