When someone experiences a severe injury, their first thoughts are whether or not they will be able to do the sports they love again. The players of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST) prove there are no restrictions post-injury, living by their motto: “life without a limb is limitless.”
The team includes several future HFOT home recipients – Cody Rice, Frank Wasson, and Matias Ferreira. The organization is a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire and educate others while improving the physical and mental welfare of injured Veterans.
WWAST Executive Director Dennis Wince says the first priority of the organization is about recovery for the Veterans. Getting out on the field and playing a sport just like they did before injury, Wince says, along with the camaraderie the players find within each other, provide a great environment for growth. “It gives everybody a sense of shared purpose,” he says.
After losing his right foot while serving in Afghanistan in 2009, Rice never thought he would play sports again. When he learned what the team was about, the motto really hit home. “I saw what they were doing on the field and I was so impressed and inspired that it changed me,” he says.
The other aspect of the team is giving back, Wince says. The organization holds an annual kids camp every year, where children with limb deficiencies not only learn how to play softball but also connect with the players about their injuries and the issues they experience. “We serve as mentors to these kids,” he says.
Rice says his favorite part about being a part of the organization is the kids’ camp. “Helping these kids is very rewarding and they look up to us like brothers and sisters,” he says. “To me, that’s the reason I’m on the team.”
Learn more about the WWAST at http://woundedwarrioramputeesoftballteam.org.