Take me out to the ballgame, warrior style
By Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie , Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
/ Published June 09, 2015
WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team members and athletes from the NFL joined forces to compete in the 3rd annual Amputee Warrior Softball Classic June 6 at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie, Maryland.
Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry O. Spencer threw out the first pitch alongside the mayor of Bowie, Mayor G. Frederick Robinson.
“What better game to celebrate and honor our wounded warriors than this,” Spencer said.
With three historic words, Spencer started the game.
“Let’s play ball,” Spencer said. “Good luck to both teams -- we have some great ball players here and we look forward to a really great game.”
The charity event benefited the Yellow Ribbon Fund, Disabled Sports USA, Connected Warrior Foundation and Operation Second Chance.
According to Spencer, community events like this allow the American people to connect with the military and its service members. The events shed light on what American warriors from all services sacrifice for their country.
“It is really important to connect the American people with their military and in this case, let them see that they (wounded warriors) gave great sacrifice for us to be able to come here and enjoy a game,” Spencer said.
“This event to them helps build their morale, helps get our wounded warriors back into the swing of things,” Spencer continued. “There is great interaction with the NFL players and there are many similarities in what we do. We both work and train hard every day and that allows us to perform at very high levels when ultimately asked to execute our missions.”
Spencer continued, stating his love for showing support to wounded warriors at events like the softball game, and also showing respect for the great sacrifice made by each service member.
“Anytime wounded warriors go anywhere, I want to be there,” the vice chief said. “These are heroes that deployed and didn’t know if they were going to make it back or how they were going to make it back, but they went anyway to support our country by answering the call. It makes me feel great to be here and I wouldn’t want to be any place else. I wouldn’t miss this for anything. They are heroes; they are heroes for our country”
This event is just the beginning of these warriors competing and being honored in June. The 2015 DOD Warrior Games, held later in June, is another outlet to catch these heroes in action.
The 2015 DOD Warrior Games will be held at Marine Corp Base Quantico, Virginia, from June 19-28. The Warrior Games is an adaptive sports competition for approximately 250 athletes representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy/Coast Guard, Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command wounded service members and veterans.
For more information on the 2015 DOD Warrior Games, click here.