Memorial Day is an opportunity to reflect on the brave people that made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States. The selflessness and courage needed to fight for our country's freedom shouldn't be taken for granted. This appreciation is often evident in sports – the MLB has special uniforms made for the holiday, and playing the national anthem and honoring veterans during games are moments that can bring a tear to the eye. In honor of Memorial Day, here are a few famous athletes that put their country first, sacrificing to serve in the U.S. military.
Ted Williams is a baseball legend, best known for his excellence at the plate – in 1941, Williams posted a .406 batting average, arguably the most impressive single season feat ever.
With the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States was drawn into WWII. Williams voluntarily enlisted in the Navy reserve as an aviator in late 1942. Never seeing active combat, the Red Sox star was discharged in December 1945.
Williams returned to baseball in 1946 and continued to swing a hot bat as he ended the season with a .342 batting average. It would be seven years before Williams served again, this time in the Korean War. In February 1953 Williams was in Korea as a member of the first Marine Air Wing. This time he saw combat, flying a total of 39 combat missions and losing part of his hearing as a result.