Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Coming to Palm Bay
On February 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the City of Palm Bay will host the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Charity Tournament at Fred Poppe Regional Park, 1951 Malabar Rd NW in Palm Bay. The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team is comprised of competitive, athletic veterans who have lost limbs while serving their country in the military/war. The team includes individuals with a variety of amputations. Some are still in the service; others are attending college thanks to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, while others have moved on to new careers. They now travel the country playing able-bodied teams in competitive and exhibition softball games, bringing their special brand of softball, courage and inspiration.
The event will be a fun and free event for families featuring BBQ, raffles, kids zone with games and inflatables, K-9 demos, drone demos, BCSO mounted patrol and bomb squad, dog adoptions, a car & motorcycle show, and of course softball games featuring the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball team taking on teams from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement and municipal workers.
WWAST athletes are examples of amputees who continue to push the limits of modern prosthetics. Of course, their dream would be the return of our soldiers from harm’s way without the loss of life or limb. Until such a time, their goal is to support and honor our veterans’ sacrifices, and to show others that life without a limb is limitless.
The primary reason for their fundraising is to support their annual Kids Camp where they bring in 20 children (between 8-12 years old) with amputations for a week-long camp. Their team members serve as coaches and mentors for these children. The WWAST pays all expenses for the 20 children and one guardian. Their Kids Camp for 2018 will be held in Manchester, NH on June 10-17.
The organization is also active in raising funds that have been donated to research for Heterotopic Ossification (HO). HO is excess bone growth in soft tissues that occurs in the residual limbs of combat amputees. This malady has affected many of their players and appears in 65% of amputations resulting from a blast injury. Recently, the military investigators whom who have sponsored have determined the cause of HO. Of course, once a cause is determined, it is much easier to come up with a remedy or solution to minimize the malady.
Because many of the players have spent time at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, they also raise funds to provide equipment that may not be in the hospital’s budget. In the past, they donated new equipment to update the physical therapy room. They plan on expanding these donations to other military Medical Centers.
The warriors will arrive at the park via Honor Ride around 11 a.m. and all activities in the park will cease as the young athletes will line the honor ride route and cheer on the team waving flags as they make their way to the fields, each riding in a different Corvette and led by a police and motorcycle escort.