Yankees to honor Army veteran

The Yankees will honor Army Sergeant Joel Tavera of Havelock, N.C., originally from Queens, N.Y., before tonight’s game against the Houston Astros. After spending two years serving his community as a fireman, he followed in the footsteps of his father by serving the country in the military and was deployed to Iraq in fall 2007.

On March 12, 2008 – four years ago today – five rockets hit the Humvee that Tavera was riding in, killing three other men. Tavera is the second-most severely injured Army soldier to survive since the Iraq war began; he lost sight in both eyes, lost his right leg, four fingers on his left hand and suffered severe burns over 60 percent of his body.

Tavera won a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his courage and bravery. His father, Jose Tavera, will throw out tonight’s first pitch. His mother, Maritza Tavera, will also be at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

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