Many fans may not know that Jonny Gomes nearly didn’t end up playing professional baseball. Gomes was seriously considering enrolling in the Armed Forces when he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

The Red Sox outfielder still keeps the military very close to his heart. A number of his tattoos pay tribute to the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces, including one that specifically honors American hero Pat Tillman.

Gomes talked with Jenny Dell before the Sox-Phillies matchup on Memorial Day to give the stories behind his patriotic tattoos. Check out the video above to hear what Gomes had to say.