Matt Hendricks would label himself as “just your average Joe in the league,” so he wasn’t expecting an invitation to the USO Holiday Tour. When he was asked, he accepted the invitation even though he wasn’t sure how much of a difference he could make.
“But being there, being able to meet our servicemen and women and hear their stories, they showed so much appreciation and thanks to me,” Hendricks said, according to the Washington Post. “It made me think, ‘Man this is crazy. These troops are thanking me when I just want to thank them.’”
Hendricks’ father is a former Marine and he’s done charity work with the military. Still, meeting troops overseas was a different and “extremely humbling” experience for him.
“When you actually get there and you set foot on that soil, you see how they’re living, what the conditions are and what they’re doing day-by-day, the stresses and the hardships those levels of appreciation somehow go higher,” Hendricks said.
Hendricks was joined by Kellie Pickler, Ilza Shlesinger, and Washington Nationals pitchers Craig Stammen and Ross Detwiler. The latter of which bailed on his honeymoon to participate in the tour.