By Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Members of the Phillies organization spread some holiday cheer today at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Philadelphia.
Manager Charlie Manuel led a contingent of ex-Phillies including Dickie Noles and Tommy Green, plus the Phillie Phanatic, on a road trip to the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center where they helped ex-servicemembers decorate a tree.
“In my mind these guys are heroes,” said Manuel (right). “They put forth their lives in an effort so we can maintain and have a free country.”
“Wonderful, remarkable!” said Anthony Reed, a veteran of the war in Grenada. “It was a big surprise. That’s a good Christmas present.” Reed now battles post traumatic stress disorder on a daily basis.
But hanging out with these Phillies legends and the Phillie Phanatic drained all the stress, at least for this day.
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“I knew we were gonna have hot chocolate and cookies — that’s about it,” Reed tells KYW Newsradio. “The lady told me there was gonna be a surprise but couldn’t tell me what it was. And it was a big surprise! All these guys walking out here in person. Normally I see ’em on television, and I finally got a chance to meet them.”
The visit is part of the “Phillies Holiday Week of Giving.”