News: From battlefield to ballfield: Wounded Warriors take mound at Harbor Park
Story by Senior Airman R. Alex Durbin
NORFOLK, Va. - The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball team took the diamond for a double header during the second Spartyka Wounded Warrior Softball Classic at Harbor Park in Norfolk, April 26.
The Wounded Warrior squad faced the ADS Inc., and the combined Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University ROTC teams at the Norfolk Tides’ stadium, and went .500 on the day with an 11-6 loss and 10-0 win, respectively.
The amputee team is comprised of U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy or Marine Corps veterans who suffered an amputation of the arm, legs or foot, while serving in the military after 9/11.
According the Wounded Warrior website, the team’s mission is to raise awareness of the sacrifices and resilience of U.S. Service members and highlight their ability to rise above challenges. Furthermore, the team’s goal is to show through extensive rehabilitation and training, anyone is able to carry on and perform the sport they love.
“The team travels the country to show people there is life after [injuries],” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Gary Lafon, Air Combat Command Air and Space Operations Directorate communication operations superintendent and WWAST coach. “Despite their injuries, these players put a lot of heart into every game and they don’t quit.”
Greg Reynolds, an Army veteran and WWAST infielder, said the team offers the players a chance to stay active while sharing their experiences with the fans from around the country.
“Sports have been monumental to all of our lives,” he said. “The opportunity to play a game I love and lead an athletic lifestyle has been instrumental in my recovery process. It allows me to not only live that lifestyle, but hopefully inspire others and show them that no matter what they face, they can overcome any hardship.”
Reynolds said that for he and his teammates, the club also offers more than a chance to play the game they love.
“This team gives a chance to play with people who have been through same obstacles,” he said. “Playing on the team gives me a sense of camaraderie like when I was in the military.”
The team’s motto, “Life without limbs is limitless,” is reflected in the players, said Master Sgt. Kane, a Langley Airman invited to play with the team.
“[The players’] spirits are always up. They play hard every game,” he said. “They are living proof you can come back from anything - and thrive.”
For more information, visit www.woundedwarrioramputeesoftballteam.org.
Date Posted:04.29.2014 15:22
Location:NORFOLK, VA, US
Hometown:DIGHTON, MA, US
Hometown:LOUISVILLE, KY, US
Hometown:ORLANDO, FL, US
Hometown:PUYALLUP, WA, US
Hometown:REDMOND, WA, US