Bombers Away

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
New York Post
September 19, 2008
Wounded GI Finally Catches Yanks
By Jeremy Olshan
For the past 18 seasons, Sgt. Trevor Diaz has been on the road and in the line of fire.
But even during his two tours in Iraq - and even after getting injured in a roadside bombing - the lifelong Yankee fan always managed to follow his beloved Bronx Bombers.
Despite having lived in New York before enlisting in 1990, Diaz, 46, had never been to a game at Yankee Stadium.
Until last night, that is.
"I'm so thrilled to be a part of history," said Diaz, standing by The Bat outside the Stadium - this from a hero who patched up and cared for soldiers in the Army's First Armored Division after the invasion in 2003, and again in 2006.
"I feel like a kid - the excitement is indescribable. It's a storybook atmosphere," he said.
Diaz managed to get four days leave from his post in Heidelberg, Germany, but the trip would never have happened were it not for a chance meeting with a fellow New Yorker at Atlanta's airport.
Gina Romano, who headed an association of children's theme parks, saw Diaz at the and thanked him for his service to the country.
"I heard the Brooklyn accent and told her that I used to live in New York, too - then we talked about the Yankees," Diaz recalled.
"You know, you look a little like Derek Jeter," Romano told him.
The Trinidadian said he is often mistaken for the shortstop - one Brooklyn barber was certain he was the Yankee.
Romano was particularly impressed that Diaz would enlist when so many American citizens would not.
"I told her this is what I always wanted to do," he said. "I would actually like to go back to Iraq - I'd go in a second if they asked me."
The two kept up an e-mail correspondence, and following the bombing en route to Mosul in which "thankfully, the vehicle bore the brunt of the damage," Romano asked if there was anything she could do.
Diaz declined initially, but did let slip that he hoped to make it to Yankee Stadium before it was demolished.
Romano was able to snag the box seats with the help of her friend, Cara Buonincontri, an attorney from Staten Island.
"This whole thing has just made me really feel very appreciated," Diaz said.
"It has been demoralizing at times to see that people were against us, but it is nice to see that whatever they think of the war or the president, they appreciate what we do," he said.
--Additional reporting by Sylvia Harvey