Wounded Warriors Join the Brewers in Washington, D.C. This Weekend
Last week, we told you that combat veterans Brian Schultz of Wisconsin Dells & Shane Kruchten of Oshkosh were joining the Brewers on the team’s road trip to Washington, D.C. as special guests of Brewers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin and his wife, Ellen, who are big supporters of the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and enlisting the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members. It helps injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other and provides unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.
Clubhouse Assistant Matt Smith was the liaison for the two VIPs and their guests this weekend and he documented their trip from start to finish.
“I told them not to worry about trying to take photos of everything, that they should just relax and enjoy the experience, that I would capture it,” Matt told me.
And capture it, he did. Read on for their experience, peppered with some Tweets & Instagram posts from Shane.
Thursday, July 17:
Each veteran was permitted to bring one guest along on the trip, so on Thursday, Shane and his brother-in-law, Michael; and Brian and his friend, Marcel (another former Marine), reported to Miller Park. There, Shane and Brian found lockers waiting for them, set up with everything that the Brewers players have from BP uniforms to personalized equipment.
They took the field as part of the team’s optional workout and met with the local media before boarding the team charter to Washington, D.C.
Friday, July 18:
In the morning, Brian and Marcel visited Arlington National Cemetery and later, all four met up to tour the National Mall. They then reported to Nationals Park, where they found their visiting lockers waiting for them. They took part in batting practice and dined with the players. They were then formally introduced in a team meeting by Manager Ron Roenicke, where they gave a little bit of a personal background, before having the honor of helping Ron exchange lineup cards at home plate. They then took in the game from seats behind the Brewers dugout.
Saturday, July 19:
The group joined front office staff, players and personnel on a tour of the White House in the morning. Then they watched guys hit in the cages before joining the starting pitchers to watch Jimmy Nelson throw his bullpen session. As a thank you to each of the players for letting them wear the Brewers jersey, the pair handed out Wounded Warrior t-shirts to the team. They then stood on the front line for the national anthem and took in the game again from seats behind the Brewers dugout.
Sunday, July 20:
The pair joined the starting pitchers again, this time for Kyle Lohse’s bullpen session, before assuming the roles of bat boys for that day’s game. Following the game, they presented the team with a signed flag which will hang in the batting cages at Miller Park. The team donned their new Wounded Warriors t-shirt for the flight home, a whirlwind, fun-filled weekend for Brian and Shane.
In addition to sponsoring this special trip for Brian and Shane, Doug and Ellen Melvin and their family support the Wounded Warrior Project all season long at Miller Park. Through a donation to Brewers Community Foundation, the Melvins also welcome a wounded service member from Wounded Warrior Project to one Brewers game each month. The special guest receives four field level seats to a Saturday Brewers home game and is recognized on the scoreboard at Miller Park for their service to our country.
“This is a cause that we can all get behind, and I am happy to support,” said Doug Melvin. “These young men and women make enormous sacrifices for all of us and Wounded Warrior Project helps them adjust to life back home after serving our country.”
For more on Brian and Shane, check out Adam McCalvy’s story on brewers.com.
To get involved and learn more about the Wounded Warrior Project, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.