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An open letter to the men, women and families of those that served, are serving or ever will serve.

December 3, 2014

Can’t even begin to tell you how hard it was to read this article. 

First off I come from a military family, as does my wife. We have a sincere appreciation and love for the sacrifices our brave warfighters and their families have made. Those that have made the ultimate sacrifice I can only offer my families sincere thank you and prayers.

My father served almost 20 years in the Army, as a member of the 101st. My cousin was in the Navy, serving on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson. My brother in law served in the 1st Air Cavalry during Vietnam. My cousin was one of the members of the Delta team portrayed in Blackhawk Down and my Father in Law served in the Army during Vietnam as well. My Grandfather was on Omaha Beach on D-Day.

I say all that not to impress, because I never had the honor of serving. No I say that to make sure anyone reading this that currently serves, or has served, understands how much we admire and respect those who serve and the sacrifices their families have made.

But I wanted to make sure of one other thing.

I wanted to make sure every one of you, no matter the branch, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, knows the respect, admiration and pride with which all true Americans hold for you. I thank God every day I was born in a country that makes people like you. Your selfless sacrifice not just for your family and mine, but for people you have never met, halfway around the world is awe inspiring.

I had the honor of spending two lengthy USO tours in the Middle East, Germany, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. I know what I saw on every occasion was not what I was reading about. I met hundreds of citizens who were in tears at their gratefulness to you and your brothers/sisters in arms for your sacrifice. I spent some time at Camp Bucca and was bowled over at the wall of letters from citizens who had learned to read and write under the tutelage of soldiers. Thousands of letters thank you for saving them, their families and giving them a possible future filled with freedom.

Sale Solata, Michael Donahue, Kelly Greene. Those three were part of my body detail along with my college roommate Ty Van Dyke. I am absolutely honored to call them friends for life. I was honored to be able to re-enlist Kelly, and be present for Sale’s promotion at Ft Bragg. I want them to know how much I respect the careers they chose.

When I think of the world today, as hard as some things may be, I remember them, and their comrades, and it’s not hard to smile.

I know you hate the word hero and all that, usually responding as Bill Guarnere and “Babe” Heffron did “We’re no heroes, the heroes are the ones that didn’t come home”.

But in this day and age so few give so much to so many with no expectation of a return. It’s “what you do”, and that somehow just doesn’t get across to many. Just know anyone in this nation that loves its heritage, the Flag and our proud history cannot begin to express our gratitude that you man your post every day for freedom loving people around the world.

So in closing, thank you, God Bless each and every one of you and your families.

From the Schillings

41 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2014 4:44 am

    Very well said, Curt! Thank you!

  2. empirelady permalink
    December 3, 2014 9:57 pm

    Curt,
    Although I would find this very touching and moving at any time(and so very true!),your timing in posting this could not have been more perfect for me. My father served in the army during the Korean War,in Korea for two years. For years after,the family would always remember what he had done through photos,his old army parka that he saved,and of course his uniform,which still hangs in the closet. He always said that the unit he was with was like the one portrayed on the TV program Mash. Sadly,unexpectedly,without warning,my father died on October 9,2014,just about two months ago. Although he was not buried in a military cemetery,my family and I did have an honor guard there. They did the whole thing with the bugle playing taps and the presenting of the flag to my mother. There was no better way to pay tribute to my father and to thank him for having served his country so many years ago. I do not wish anyone to have to go through what my family and I have these past two months,and I do not wish anyone to have to suffer the pain that I am feeling over the loss of my father(it hurts so much,as you,Curt,are painfully aware of as well)but I thank you Curt for saying what you did about all the men and women who do or have done so much for this country,including my father. Be well.
    Best Wishes,
    Donna,New York City

  3. December 19, 2014 2:50 pm

    Thank you for being one the many who respect the serviceman, I served my time 20 years and 9 month and felt like it was the best profession that I have ever served in. Once again Thank you for the very nice words. Dave Dailey

  4. March 2, 2015 5:08 pm

    The us government misuses our patriotism. Pat tillman was murdered because he told a reporter back home the army was guarding the poppy fields in afg. wtc 1,2,7 never shouldve fell. A tower in dubai was mostly on fire recently and stayed upright. The child of a alien father has never been a article 2 natural born citizen, read minor v happersett. The msm is a corrupt controlled joke. Lets protect our borders and stay out of these foreign sewers.

  5. March 2, 2015 10:42 pm

    Thank you. My dear young son is now enlisted. As such, our whole family is enlisted too! Bless you and your lovely daughter and pass along my regrets for the recent savagery online which has hurt her so.

  6. March 2, 2015 11:48 pm

    too bad you were too afraid to serve

    • March 2, 2015 11:54 pm

      Who?

      • March 3, 2015 2:32 pm

        Get her, Mr. Schilling. She is nothing but a Liberal troll.

      • March 4, 2015 9:24 am

        I am a disabled veteran at the age of 25, can’t use my left hand, and saved countless lives flying search and rescue in the military. Nothing I did was about being ”brave”, I did my job. I’m tired of the pictures and snide comments online about people saying athletes get paid too much and are cowards because they didn’t serve, and soldiers should get millions- especially when it comes from fairweather “patriots” like Sharon. Curt has served more than 99% of people regardless of uniform. I’d buy the man a beer any day, he has my respect for not only what he’s done on the field, but definitely the people who’s lives he’s touched off the field.

        And Curt, if any of those people on twitter are in central Florida, let me know.

      • March 4, 2015 12:01 pm

        Curt, Sharon is just another trill spouting her excrement wherever she thinks people will listen

      • March 7, 2015 10:51 am

        Adam bishmore. You are a hypocrite. And what tells me you’re a hypocrite is your final sentence. “If any of these Twitter jerks live in central Florida let me know.” What you just said is as much a threat as what those twitters posters said. You are insinuating that you will violently take care of these people. Yeah I’m sure your seemly idol curt schilling would approve of your offer and immediately contact you to let you know where these guys live. You represent all that curt just spoke against, and even though you didn’t put it in a way that was as gross as what was said on those Twitter posts, you still inferred that you would do something of a violent nature to these people. You’re a hypocrite Adam, and I’m sure curt will take time out of his day to contact you as if you two are buddies. I’m sure he looks up to you in the same way you look up to him (sarcasm). He wouldn’t waste a breathe on you. Which is a shame since you are a veteran. I’m really surprised someone in entertainment/televised sports is revered by you in such a way..

      • March 9, 2015 12:03 pm

        As I said I can’t use my hand… I am not a violent person at all. I have a pretty large professional network in the area- I wasn’t inferring anything violent at all. I can’t do much more than talk now anyways.

        I have looked up to Curt since my father took me to a Sox game as a child where I met him. I’ve conversed with him on multiple occasions since then. Not quite an idol, but definitely someone whom I have tremendous respect for.

        Call me a hypocrite because you inferred the wrong thing. Strong words for someone who hides behind internet anonymity. If only I cared about what you think of me. I’ve been called worse than hypocrite… that’s for sure.

    • March 3, 2015 9:56 am

      I am a veteran and can attest to this mans dedication to our veterans and military members. Instead of trying to tear down and troll all the time, have some decency and acknowledge the positive message.

    • March 3, 2015 11:40 am

      Sharon don’t speak on what you don’t know. Curt has done and continues to do more than 99% of MLB players do or have did. No one who has served holds anything against someone who’s talent let them pursue other paths than the military. I can proudly say one of my most treasured possessions from Iraq is a picture I had taken with Mr. Schilling while he did a USO tour in Iraq. No one forced him to go on that tour and a true veteran has nothing but respect for those celebs/athletes who CHOOSE to go.

    • March 3, 2015 12:46 pm

      Sharon Linton, you really have serious issues. Curt openly said he didn’t serve, and you, in turn, have twisted that into he was too afraid to serve?? What facts do you base your comment on? You spend a lot of time criticizing Curt, so we can all see you don’t like him personally, but to say that he was too afraid to serve, you must have information to base that comment on, and if so I’m calling you out…back up your comment with truth, otherwise back off.

    • March 3, 2015 4:35 pm

      @sharon Your posts are off base. Can’t you disagree with someone without attacking and calling names? Your name calling in several posts just highlights you are wrong and have no facts. Hint: The person calling someone else names in any argument is either the bully or the fool. Don’t be either!

    • March 3, 2015 5:12 pm

      Curt, thanks so sharing you’re thoughts on the subject. Sharon would rather no one had any thoughts on the subject, or at least only thought in a way that would agree with her sensibilities (whatever the fuck they are).

    • March 4, 2015 5:06 am

      Too bad you weren’t brought up with better manners.

    • March 4, 2015 8:16 am

      So Sharon, what are your dates of service and what branch did you serve in?

      Sincerely,
      J.T. Byrd
      USMC Sergeant
      2004-2013
      OIF 8.2
      OEF 10.1

    • March 4, 2015 11:47 am

      It’s incredibly unfair and dumb to say that not serving in the military indicates cowardice or lack of patriotism. EVERY young man and woman who stands and places their hand over their heart during the national anthem is a patriot and potential hero. I served in the Marines, but I don’t fault one single person for taking advantage of better opportunities than being a government employee.

    • March 4, 2015 1:05 pm

      What is that about Sharon Linton? I’m confident you did not serve, if you had you would have learned more about respect for others. Ridiculous.

    • March 4, 2015 9:44 pm

      Sharon, why make a statement like that? I disparage no one who has never, or could not, serve. I myself have done 26 yrs in the USCG, and honestly, it is just a job for me, but I have been very fortunate to be part of many great events and opportunities, from 9-11, to rescuing distressed mariners and immigrants escaping from Cuba and Haiti, to assisting people after Hurricane Katrina. I get others see it as something more than that, but to me, I was just doing what I was trained to do. Military service is not for everyone, and quite honestly, I saw it as an opportunity for ME. It was my calling, just as much as playing professional sports was someone else’s. Thanks for your support, Curt. You don’t have to serve to understand the sacrifices military families make, and your support is graciously appreciated.

  7. March 3, 2015 9:48 am

    As a veteran of the 101st Airborne Division, I want to say thank you Curt, there are not many pro athletes, or regular citizens who feel or care as you do.

  8. March 3, 2015 10:55 am

    you. You can brag about your family, but you were healthy enough to make millions as an athlete, but afraid to server yourself and send other people’s children to fight the wars you so love, but are afraid to be in yourself

  9. March 3, 2015 11:34 am

    I am a Democrat, and a NY Mets Fan – but I salute you and love this post. I am also a father of a 13 year old daughter that I would die for. Well done, Mr. Schilling. On a side note – we once met. I was working with a man named mark Reiman – he had ALS and represented the community and sang the national anthem at every ball park. You literally gave the shirt off your back to him. You and your wife were beyond gracious when we visited your stadium. I respect and admire you.

  10. March 3, 2015 12:48 pm

    Curt, I have two girls of my own. The older one is off to college this year, as well. I can remember the first time one of my girls was really bullied. I can remember her tears and her pain. It was so real, I could feel it myself. I cried some to.

    I was a “big tough Marine” for 10 years, or so my friends said I was. I have traveled the world and done what boys will do. But never was I disrespectful, or hateful, or mean for no reason. I am shocked that these children would lash out at a girl they do not even know. Why would they do that? If I had ever done that my Dad would have kicked my @ss, and I would have deserved it.

    I am glad that you stuck op for your girl, and I hope we all take breath and realize cyber bullying is an epidemic.

  11. March 3, 2015 1:30 pm

    Hi Curt,

    I was shocked and appalled to read some of these horrific tweets sent to you about your daughter. Its awful to say but I really wasn’t surprised. A similar situation happened to me about two weeks ago when I started a very innocent blog about baseball and how MLB teams would interact with their young fans. I wrote to every team on behalf of my 21 month old son, Mason. Here are the links, I hope you take a second to look at them. The hatchet job written about me on Deadspin was the catalyst to several horrible tweets including people that wished terminal illness on my young son and one that said he was going to send a bomb to my house…..all over a little blog about baseball

    http://thereadzone.com/2015/02/19/mets-do-not-do-fan-packs-a-fake-controversy-on-twitter-also-deadspin-is-literally-the-worst/

    http://masonmilbrandt.blogspot.com/2015/02/mlb-blog.html

    I wish I could have done what you did and call these people out by I just blocked them and moved on with my day. Such a shame how mean people can be! I have always been a huge baseball fan and would like to wish nothing but the best to you and your daughter. We are expecting our first daughter this month, due date is 3/23. I am a nervous wreck!

    Thank you,
    Jim Milbrandt
    @5helmetplay

  12. March 3, 2015 2:29 pm

    I’m a liberal, I’m a Democrat, and I’m a Nats fan. Not sure any of that matters because I’m also the father of an 11-year-old ice hockey playing girl who I love more than anything. Good for you for outing these idiots. The anonymity of the internet has given rise to a whole class of morons who feel empowered to voice their vitriol.

    And shame on anyone who now wants to link your politics to your post. I’m sure we could have a healthy argument about national issues. But the issue of debasing women shouldn’t be on anyone’s agenda.

    Good luck to your daughter and her team.

  13. March 3, 2015 3:18 pm

    Social media can also be the path forward to a solution for bullying that protects the target and heals the bully.http://tinyurl.com/mv3qjhw

  14. March 3, 2015 4:31 pm

    You’re doing what any father would do for the daughter he loves. That said, you definitely do talk too much. 60 percent about defending your self image (what does being a republican and a former Red Sox have to do with what was said to your daughter.everyone knows you were a Red Sox), and 40 percent about protecting your daughter id say

  15. March 3, 2015 7:53 pm

    We had the honor of meeting you at Walter Reec in 2008 afte the Sox won the World Series. We were amazed that you guys, our heroes, would come visit with military families. This was not done out of obligation but because you all genuinely cared about us. You never once looked bored or inconvenience as we all sat in shock and awe that we were in your presence. You even let me try on your World Series ring. I have never forgotten that day and since then our family has been dire hard Red Sox fans. Thank you for all you have done for our troops and their families.

  16. March 3, 2015 9:55 pm

    I became a follower today. Thank you for speaking up. As a father, who has had to deal with young abusive kids who attacked both my kids, I can commiserate with you.

    In both cases, the abusers were rich, well educated, and spoiled. One was the son of a judge, and I called the judge personally. The others were from affluent parents as well. It makes no difference, only that even in seemingly good families there exists the capacity to do harm.

    I also learned you are fighting some health issues, and I promise to keep you in my prayers.

    God speed.

  17. March 3, 2015 9:55 pm

    The respect is mutual Curt, a disabled vet myself and Orioles fan. I may not have been an ardent fan of the teams you played on, but I can’t help but admire you as one the best pitchers I was ever privileged enough to see play the game. You would have made a fine veteran if that had been your life’s path and no one can argue that the path you took was a successful one. Thank you for your USO service – I’m sure those who saw you were thrilled!

  18. March 3, 2015 10:56 pm

    This soldier served in Ramadi and Fallujah Iraq. He was there with the 2nd Brigade Combat team, 2nd ID. He now has a 3 year old and wife and is homeless. Now he needs our help! Please Help A Homeless Veteran Get Shelter
    http://www.gofundme.com/homelesshero

  19. March 4, 2015 8:22 am

    Mr. Schilling,

    Thank you for your support. You came through Al Taqaddum, Iraq when I was there in 2008. My schedule at the time didn’t allow me the time to see you, but I’m glad that you came through to talk and visit none the less. Thanks again.

    Semper Fidelis,
    J.T. Byrd
    USMC Sergeant
    2004-2013
    OIF 8.2
    OEF 10.1

  20. March 4, 2015 11:39 am

    It’s incredibly unfair and dumb to say that not serving in the military indicates cowardice or lack of patriotism. EVERY young man and woman who stands and places their hand over their heart during the national anthem is a patriot and potential hero. I served in the Marines, but I don’t fault one single person for taking advantage of better opportunities than being a government employee.

  21. harmonicatim permalink
    March 4, 2015 1:08 pm

    Sharon is a putz! And I did serve. Thanks for the article

  22. March 6, 2015 1:18 am

    Curt you are changing the game, pulling a deception. Every comment was to fire you up, not a single one was intended for your daughter. YOU put your daughter out there and when they get your goat you cry victim and call your lawyer to investigate. You are a poor loser on social media, just like on the ball field. YOU CURT Did this and your daughter is correct at being angry with you and your little twitter games. You lost and got bent by it.
    What are you going to do, go extremist and cut off the commentor’s heads. Allah Akbar you
    giant hypocrite.

    • March 7, 2015 5:14 am

      Veridad, that has to be the dumbest thing I have read in awhile. They weren’t meant for his daughter? Are you stupid or retarded? They were DIRECTED toward his daughter. You must not have a daughter. I do. If I ever heard someone utter or see someone type those types of things, me contacting my lawyer would be the least of these douchebags problems. The people making these comments should have directed their tirade at Curt, not his 17 year old minor daughter. Grow up, asshole.

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