Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team to perform, educate Fort Riley community about resiliency
August 27, 2014
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FORT RILEY, Kan. (Aug. 27, 2014) -- Interactive, motivational and fun; that's how Chief Warrant Officer 2 Aaron Sargent, Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Infantry Division described the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team.
The team, Sargent said, performs skits, laughs and jokes with one another, and motivates others through their display of camaraderie and the ways in which they overcome adversities resulting from their loss of limbs.
Sargent likened their style to the playfulness of the Harlem Globetrotters.
"It's very interactive with the fans in the crowd," he said. "It's very family oriented."
The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, or WWAST, consists of veterans and active-duty service members who travel the country to play softball competitively and as exhibition games. They have performed at ballparks, including Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium.
The team's goal is "to raise awareness, educate and inspire the public about the strength and resiliency of our wounded warriors, showing how a positive attitude, commitment, dedication and perseverance allow them to overcome any obstacles," according to its website at www.woundedwarrioramputeesoftballteam.org.
The team will visit Fort Riley for a series of free events, with some open to DOD personnel and some for the public, Sept. 5-8.
Team members will visit Soldiers at various units on Fort Riley Monday to discuss resiliency.
"These wounded warriors (who) have overcome adversity and are now doing the things they love, despite losing a limb or two, are going to talk to our Soldiers at Fort Riley about resiliency and overcoming adversity," Sargent said. "They give back to communities and they're just a world-class organization."
BARBECUE AND CGMCG DEMO
The weekend's first event is scheduled for 5 p.m., Sept. 5, at the Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard arena on Marshall Avenue.
Members of WWAST have scheduled a meet and greet during the event, which features a free barbecue, provided by the All-American Beef Battalion.
"They're going to do a free steak dinner barbecue," Sargent said. "It's a world-class barbecue put on by a great organization."
Meals will be served to the first 1,200 people, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Following the barbecue, the Commanding General's Mounted Color Guard will perform a historical demonstration.
Sargent said the atmosphere is intended to be relaxed and interactive as national athletes and wounded warrior team members talk with community members and sign autographs.
The event is open to DOD cardholders and their family members.
TAILGATE AND DOUBLE HEADER
The team will play a double header with games at 3 and 5 p.m., Sept. 6, at Kansas State University's Tointon Stadium, Manhattan.
The first game pits local celebrities against WWAST. The second game features celebrity athletes, including Will Shields, John Riggins, Jeff Bostic and Mark Simoneau against WWAST.
"There will be a home run derby in between, where we're bringing in some major softball players," Sargent said. "It's a show that plays to the crowd."
The free games are open to the public, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The stadium can seat more than 2,000 fans.
"It should be a really fun event. Hopefully, we get some community members and some Soldiers and their family members out there," Sargent said. "It's a free event. It's always good to be able to get out and do stuff that doesn't cost a lot, get some autographs from some Hall of Famers and some professional athletes, and just [to have] a fun day to bring the family out and enjoy the area."
Prior to the games, a tailgate party is scheduled for DOD ID cardholders and their families at K-State's Cat Town. The tailgate party will also be catered by the All-American Beef Battalion. Meals will be served, first-come, first-served, to the first 1,000 people.
The tailgate party will feature music from the 1st Infantry Division Band's rock band, Band of BROs.