Ray Tanner, head coach of our back to back National Champion Baseball team, took time out last week to visit soldiers at the Fort Jackson Warrior Transition Unit here in Columbia. Check out the excerpt below and read more here.
Ray Tanner, head coach of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks baseball team, spent almost two hours with the Soldiers answering questions, signing autographs and posing for photos.
"I always talk to groups about adversity and realism and perspective and those kinds of things. (But) you guys know far more about that than I do," Tanner told the Soldiers.
Before answering questions about the Gamecocks championship run and other topics, Tanner shared stories with the Soldiers to explain his approach to coaching and life in general.
Sgt. Addison Brown, a WTU Soldier who was involved in organizing the event, said that, as a Soldier, he could relate to Tanner's attitude.
"It's never about him. It's never about what he's accomplished. It's the bigger picture," Brown said. "You can relate to that more as a Soldier, because when you go on a mission, it's not about you."
Brown said that he knows from experience that visits like Tanner's can have a positive effect on Soldiers.
"When I was wounded (in 2007) we had different people coming to our unit. I didn't know them (all), but just to have someone who is a celebrity in the community or outside the community come and boost the morale. that's what it's all about," Brown said.
Col. John Nerges, Moncrief Army Community Hospital's deputy commander for nursing, shared a similar sentiment.
"These (Soldiers) today will remember the day they got to meet Coach Tanner, and it'll mean so much to them," Nerges said. "You can't buy it with money. This is an irreplaceable experience. (What) it does for morale in these Soldiers, you can't measure it."