Ross Detwiler is leaving his honeymoon early to go visit the troops stationed overseas

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

Ross Detwiler didn't hesitate when faced with a decision between love or country.

He chose country.

The Washington Nationals pitcher will soon be headed out on a seven-day, four-country USO tour with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

That a ballplayer would hit the road to personally thank our brave servicemen and servicewomen doesn't seem too out of the ordinary — a lot of athletes have made similar journeys — until you learn one big fact about Detwiler's decision to participate.

He left his honeymoon in Hawaii to make sure he could make the "once in a lifetime" trip. He and his new wife Keri were wed on Dec. 1, presumably in another "once in a lifetime" experience.

Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington has the story:

"When I got the phone call, I just said: 'I'm going to drop everything I can and make sure I can go on this,'" Detwiler said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. You never know if you're going to be able to do something like this again."

It didn't matter to Detwiler that he would have to cut his honeymoon short. And how did his new wife feel about that?

"Well, she's still in Hawaii, so she doesn't mind," he said with a laugh. "She was definitely on board to let me do this."

Now that is an understanding wife. And while they probably already had a good fill of mai tais and sunshine by the time the general's office called, it's a solid move by Detwiler to jump at the chance and head back to the continental U.S. The left-hander will join teammate Craig Stammen, Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks, singer Kellie Pickler and comedian Iliza Shlesinger for the tour. The group doesn't yet know which bases they are scheduled to visit as the information is classified.

Detwiler isn't the first ballplayer to make such a decision, either. Nick Swisher and his wife Joanna Garcia spent their honeymoon last year visiting the troops in Afghanistan.


Stay warm this winter ...
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