Army Sergeant still a Tribe fan from afar, visits Progressive Field

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Saturday was a special day for a family of Tribe fans: Sgt. Daniel Burgess, his wife Genette, and their daughters, Gracie and Kaylee, went to their first Indians game in Cleveland since Dan was wounded in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan.

“We moved [to Cleveland] in 1995, right when the Tribe got hot,” Dan said. “We would always go to games. I started getting them into it; I couldn’t get them into football and I couldn’t get them into basketball, but I got them into the Tribe!”

Genette also stressed how coming to Indians games is a great tradition for the Burgesses. “I think the best memory [at Progressive Field] is being able to spend time together here as a family.”

The family still follows the Tribe closely from afar, as they are currently living in San Antonio, TX.  Dan receives care and is rehabbing the injuries sustained from when he encountered an IED in Afghanistan. He has made incredible progress, even with just having had another surgery in February.

“[The first Army Ten-Miler] was my graduation from therapy. When I got hurt, I said I wanted to run — and I hate running — and then I got challenged to run by a reserved Sergeant major.”

Sgt. Burgess is also changing a negative to a positive, giving back by doing the Susan G. Komen 60 mile Breast Cancer walk in Philadelphia and the Army Ten-Miler. Again!

No matter the challenges it faces, the family knows when to laugh and when to keep striving forward. “We feel like we’re a blessed family. From such a bad situation — thinking your lives are over and changed — it’s been nothing but an awesome experience.”

Later, Nick Swisher stopped over to talk with their family and share his appreciation for Dan’s service and sacrifice. Swisher and his wife, JoAnna, have visited troops in Afghanistan in the past. Dan recounted how he used to have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Swisher as a Yankee, but it’s all love now!

Best of luck to the Sgt. Burgess and his family on all of their future endeavors. We’re proud to have them as Tribe fans!

— TribeVibe contributor Courtney Shilling/Photos by David Cleveland

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