Tuesday is Veterans Day, a time we celebrate and recognize those who have served, is currently serving or has fallen in the service of our military. Throughout the United States’ relatively young history, the nation has been faced with war after war, all around the globe, and millions of Americans have given their all to protect their country.
Sports and the military have an interesting connection. Sporting events are home to the most frequent public displays of patriotism, with hundreds of national anthem performances taking place each year in just one MLB season. And how many pregame flyovers and colors presentations by U.S. Marines have there been?
Often, the military also gives us the lens through which sporting events are framed. Games are called battles, players are heroes, football has its trenches, and so on. Athletes’ accomplishments are often laudable, but on-field exploits are far removed from the actual heroics of soldiers on the battlefield where lives are on the line.
Many professional athletes have put their careers on hold – or even given up for good – in order to provide service for our country.
In honor of our veterans, we’ve assembled an unnumbered list of 10 great veterans out of the hundreds who have served this country and entertained us on the field of play.