For Marty Bailey, Saturday was about more than just being honored at Yankee Stadium by his favorite baseball team on a picturesque afternoon -- the important part was having his family by his side.
It’s been a long road for Bailey, who served in the U.S. Special Forces and is a retired master sergeant, to get from the battlefield to the ballpark in the Bronx. Bailey was completely blinded in both eyes after being wounded in a battle in Afghanistan. He told Fox News that, though the recovery process is often tough for troops, the same can be said for the family members standing by the side of their injured loved one -- in Bailey's case, that meant his kids and his wife, Fox News contributor Sara Carter.
“I’m just one guy that got injured. A lot of guys got killed," Bailey said. "But the big thing is that they honor the families -- because that’s who really goes through hell.”
Bailey said he was grateful to the Yankees for the opportunity to recognize the families of the wounded, those who don't sign up to go to war but are nevertheless thrust into a potential lifetime battle.
“It’s a real honor they bestow on the families to bring ‘em out and put them on the field and give people a chance to realize how much the families…the trials and stresses they go through," he said. "You get wounded, you’re just wounded. You’re just another guy that’s got an issue – an arm, leg, eyesight whatever."
He added: “The families are the ones that have to put up with it. They are the silent heroes that really should be the…family of the game."
Bailey and Carter, who first met in the notorious Helmand Province of Afghanistan, have been married for nearly a decade. Carter said she was “in tears” when she learned the Yankees were going to honor her husband during a game this season.
“He’s like our hero,” Carter said. “He’s never really ever complained. I never heard my husband say 'Why me?' and so the kids have gained strength through him.”
Bailey now works for the U.S. State Department and helps wounded warriors. He also serves with the Task Force Dagger Foundation, which helps provide assistance to wounded, ill or injured U.S. Special Operations Command members and their families.
But the big thing is that they honor the families because that’s who really goes through hell.
Putting an exclamation point on the day for Bailey and his family, the Yankees edged out the Cleveland Indians, 6-5, thanks to home runs from Gleyber Torres, Didi Gregorius and D.J. LeMahieu.