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Wounded Warrior softball game should be annual event

Brooklyn Daily
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There are plenty of distractions in our world — bills to pay, parties to attend, and jobs to do. Sometimes you need a stark jolt to make you look up and see what’s really going on.

The softball games featuring the Wounded Warrior Amputee squad were a chance to do that last Saturday at Shore Road Park in Bay Ridge. There needs to be more opportunities like this to appreciate what others have sacrificed for you, and to recognize the courage with which they continue to live their lives to the fullest.

“Today, you see these guys out there missing a leg, missing an arm, it really makes you step back and say, ‘Wow,’ ” said Bay Ridge All-Star Jeff King. “You go through your life every day, and you don’t think about the guys that are out there with disabilities. They did that for us, so we can be here today. It just puts a tear in your eye.”

The 13-man quad was incredible to watch in their first appearance in New York City. The passion and skill with which they played showed that almost anything could be overcome.

Softball is hard enough to excel at with all your extremities intact, let alone with prosthetic legs and missing arms. Wounded Warrior catcher Leonard Anderson uses an attached basket to play the position, and Greg Reynolds was still hitting bombs with one arm and a running start. How can you not pull for people like that?

“I don’t know that too many people are rooting for us,” said Stephanie Caso of the Bay Ridge All Stars, who went up against the Wounded Warriors June 12. “I almost want to see them beat us.”

The strong turnout, which saw a crowd stretched all around the perimeter of the field, and the people who played in the game showed that people want to give back and say “thank you” to these heroes. People just sometimes don’t know how. A double header of softball games on a beautiful afternoon in Brooklyn is certainly a great way to do so.

“I think everybody just appreciated what these people do for our country,” Caso said. “To be able to take a day aside like this and really appreciate it is really important.”

State Sen. Mary Goldman said he and other electeds are working on making Brooklyn an annual stop for the Wounded Warrior team tour and hope to grow the size of the event. This shouldn’t be the team’s first and last stop in the five boroughs. Too much can be learned from them. You see just how tough war is — and a just how tough people can be.

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at jstaszewski@cnglocal.com. Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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