MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – At 17-years-old, Sherman Edgerson joined the U.S. Navy. He decided to forgo a baseball scholarship so he could help make money for his family.
“When I first went, I said, ‘I don’t want a war.’ I just wanted to get college.”
Three months into his boot camp, September 11, 2001 changed everything.
“When it happened, everyone on base was running around crying. I was scared,” said Edgerson. “And the next month, I was in Afghanistan.”
Edgerson rose quickly in ranking. It took him less than two years to become an E5 second-class petty officer. He served on board the U.S.S. Carl Vinson, a ship pivotal in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The ship eventually carried Osama Bin Laden’s body for his burial at sea.
“I love to say that I was a part of something bigger than us,” said Edgerson.
When Edgerson left the military in 2008, the home he’d left seven years before wasn’t there for him. Edgerson grew up in Hollygrove, Louisiana; one of the neighborhoods heavily affected by Hurricane Katrina.
“Nothing was there. My car was gone. My home was gone.”
Edgerson ended up in Memphis, and he returned to baseball as an assistant coach at Christian Brothers University.
“From his experience in the military, he has a lot of perspective to pass along to these guys,” said head coach Lee Parks. “There’s no doubt in my mind he’s the guy I want around the players.”
“I feel like I can make a change,” Edgerson said. “I was once a kid in New Orleans. I was just an athlete, and I ran around the city and everybody knew me as ‘Little Sherm.’ Now, people look up to me and say thank you for your service. That’s something that’s going to be with me forever.”