On a beautiful spring day, the softball field was set up directly opposite of the Washington Nationals’ home plate. The Warriors warmed up with ease, oftentimes catching the softball with a hook, or swinging the bat with one arm. The first baseman, who had two prosthetic legs, was able to basically do a split to catch the ball and get the runner out. Pop-flys were caught and thrown into home plate by players with prosthetic arms, and tasks that we might think require two hands were completed excellently with one.
Aurora had the opportunity to watch the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball game on Tuesday, 3 April after the Nationals’ exhibition game against the Red Sox; it was both moving and inspiring. The teamwork visibly displayed on the field brought to mind the same sense of teamwork that veterans find when they’re together, whether in an effort to win a game or when bonding together on a college campus to excel and successfully graduate into the civilian world. Aurora’s grants support such teamwork, and it was a privilege to watch the Warriors in action as a softball team comprised of former Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines took the field to play and defeat a team of celebrity softball players, including DC Mayor Vince Gray, and former Redskins player LaVar Arrington. The Warriors played with a lot of heart; no one had time to pity the them, as it was obvious they’d moved on from their injuries and taken charge of their lives through making the prosthetic limbs work for them. Throughout the game, plays were made by the Warriors that caused the crowd to sit in awe as the Warriors proved nothing was going to set them back, and losing was not an option.
The game finished with a win for the Warriors – 17-4. The crowd that watched was left with not only a deep respect for these men and women who sacrificed so much, but a strength to never give up, even when all odds seem against you.