The Youth Athletic Park at Lake Mission Viejo was the site of the Second Annual Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball game against the Orange County Veterans & First Responders softball team. Victor Gonzales, event organizer, was on hand to talk about why he has put this event together for the second year. Victor stated that he has put this event together for three reasons: (1) This event creates community awareness for those going about their daily life not having an idea of why we have our freedom, (2) Promoting use of world class prosthetics that should be available to all of our troops, and (3) Recognize the individuals themselves. All proceeds from the game went to the WWAST.
After the Wounded Warrior team lost to the OC First Responders they were on a mission to show the celebrity team who’s field it really was. The celebrities gave them a run for their money but came up short in the 4th inning of this exibition game. The WWAST hit themselves to a 15-7 victory over players including former Anaheim Angels Pitcher Justin Speier, 3-time Olympic softball gold medalist Leah O’Brien-Amico, and Servite High School graduate former Indianapolis Colts defensive player Chris Gallipo.
First baseman Josh Wege was caught dancing and even going into the splits trying to catch a pop fly during the game while catcher Matias Ferreira ran the bases with glee after hitting his first homerun of the game,even when the umpire joked it wasn't a homerun. There was no shortage of joking and enthusiasm during the games, maybe even a little trash talking.
Between and after the games the WWAST players were on hand to talk to fans and sign autographs. There were many younger fans, amputee’s themselves, that were very interested in talking to the players, some even comparing prosthetics. In speaking to many of these younger fans it was evident that the men on this team were an inspiration to them, giving them so much to look forward to. No longer does the use of prosthetics hinder their users from playing sports or living life as made evident during the game. The national Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST), represents some of our nation’s bravest and most determined heroes, soldiers and veterans. These young extremely athletic men have sustained severe injuries resulting in amputation while serving in the military/war, and through extensive rehabilitation, they have become competitive athletes again.
Their armor now includes prosthetic legs and arms, along with extreme perseverance and attitude. Together they comprise the NATIONAL WOUNDED WARRIOR AMPUTEE SOFTBALL TEAM. For more information about the team: http://woundedwarrioramputeesoftballteam.org/