On Memorial Day, FOX Sports honors an incredible athlete and American military hero who is representative of the many courageous men and women who have served our country.
U.S. Army Major Steve Reich was the commander of the Operation Red Wings counterinsurgent rescue mission in Kundar Province of Afghanistan in 2005, when he was killed in action. The operation involved four members of the U.S. Navy Seals and was depicted in the 2013 feature film "Lone Survivor."
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Prior to his service, Reich was three-sport athlete in high school and a top pitcher for Army’s West Point Academy on the path to a major league career. When the Army called him back to active duty, Reich never expressed regret that his promising professional baseball career lasted only two games for a Baltimore Orioles farm team.
"Not being able to pursue a career with the Orioles was a heartbreak for Stephen, but as soon as that decision was made he closed that door and he moved on," his mother, Sue Reich, said. Baseball was a big dream, but it always came second to the service.