I have written before about Army spouse Teresa Maggart. I first met her last year for a story assignment. It had been a year since her husband Sgt. Brandon Maggart was killed in Iraq, and she had become a member of the local running group, wear blue: run to remember.
The Maggart family is originally from Missouri, but Teresa and her 5-year-old son Blake remained in Washington. Teresa and Blake flew home to their homestate in August for Blake’s birthday. Big Mizzou and Cardinals fans, Blake threw the first pitch out at a St. Louis game during their visit. His father was honored at the game.
When I found out a couple months ago that former St. Louis manager Tony La Russa was visiting Joint Base Lewis-McChord for a book signing I immediately contacted Teresa. La Russa’s book signing was on Oct. 3, and wow, what a class act. He was humbled by the number of service members waiting in line to meet him, pose for photos and ask for autographs. La Russa’s signing was only supposed to last two hours, but the three-time world series championship skipper stayed for 4 1/2 hours to make sure everyone in line got through.
I told the marketing people in charge of the signing about the Maggart family who was waiting in line and a little bit about their story. They told La Russa. When it was Blake’s turn La Russa picked him up and stood him on top of the signing table. He put two of his World Series rings on Blake’s hands and posed for photos. I had been there for 2 1/2 hours and La Russa hadn’t done that with ANY other child. It was such a cool experience for Blake and I was so impressed by La Russa’s compassion and character.
I tell Teresa what an inspiration she is to me, and I know she is such an inspiration to many others.
Read about La Russa’s visit here.