PITTSBURGH -- On Memorial Day, nowhere -- nor never -- is there a shortage of deserving people to honor. And sometimes a day isn't enough, so the Pirates essentially are making Lt. Sean Parnell a Memorial Weekend honoree. The native of Murrysville is hosting a reunion for a dozen or so former members of his Army Rangers unit -- all of the principals in "Outlaw Platoon," Parnell's gripping and insightful account of their experiences in Afghanistan -- but that party won't fully swing until Saturday. So Parnell's family and a quartet of reunion early arrivals were the team's guests on Friday night -- when Parnell threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the series opener against the Cubs.
On Sunday, Parnell and the entire contingent of Army Rangers will again be the Pirates' guests. The best-selling "Outlaw Platoon," released by William Morrow/HarperCollins in February and co-authored with John Bruning, deals with Parnell's 16 months of combat duty in Afghanistan, where his men were credited with 350 kills of insurgents while losing only one of their own.