The only ovation louder than one for Josh Hader nailing down a save in the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 victory Wednesday may have been for Luxemburg’s Chuck Wagner. The Brewers honored Wagner as its “Hero of the Game,” recognizing his service to the country as a member of the United States Army’s 1st Air Cavalry during the Vietnam War. Drafted in 1970, Wagner never received the proper “welcome home” when he returned from his tour of duty in 1971 as he was mistreated by people protesting the war. Those memories 48 years ago made days like his Old Glory Honor Flight trip in 2017 and Wednesday’s standing ovation by over 35,000 people feel extra special.
Wagner says he was moved by the number of people who came up to him to thank him for his service after the Brewers made the announcement after the third inning, including fellow Vietnam veterans that may have served with him at the same time.