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08/27/08 8:23 PM ET
Dodgers visit soldiers at Walter Reed
Members of Los Angeles organization meet wounded veterans
By Michael Schwartz / MLB.com
WASHINGTON -- A contingent of Dodgers visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before Wednesday's game against the Nationals. The group included players Andre Ethier, Danny Ardoin and Jason Johnson, manager Joe Torre, coaches Larry Bowa and Manny Mota and broadcasters Rick Monday, Jerry Reuss and Steve Lyons. "It was quite uplifting," Torre said. "It's quite remarkable, the spirit of these young men. That whole hospital I was very impressed with, it didn't matter what the soldier was dealing with." Torre said it was touching to visit with the soldiers who wanted to talk about their time on the battlefields, making Los Angeles' manager feel like the men and women he spent time with were the celebrities, not the Dodgers. Ardoin, the Dodgers' backup catcher, wanted to make the trip to be a part of the soldiers' lives and hear some of their stories. "They talk about how whenever we leave -- pro ballplayers or what have you -- these people are enlightened, and it makes their next couple days go by well," he said. "For me, it enlightens my day to see the strength that these guys carry even though it looks like the odds are stacked against them. They don't believe that. I think they keep things in perspective, and it's a good way to look at things." Ardoin said his visit provided an example of how precious life is. "You go over there and see these guys, and they have their heads held up high and they're talking and thinking positive even though they may have something amputated on their body," he said.
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.