WASHINGTON (American Forces Press Service, Sept. 18, 2013) – The Army’s vice chief of staff came out to show his support Sunday for wounded warriors across all branches of service during the third annual Wounded Warriors Celebrity Softball Classic following the Washington Nationals home game.
Gen. John F. Campbell watched as wounded warriors, families and friends from the Washington Nationals organization and celebrities from across the country competed at Nationals Park.
“I [just] had to come out and watch some of our wounded warriors from all the services come out here and continue to play hard [and] work hard, and they really show some inspiration,” Campbell said. “I’m glad to be a part of it.”
The general said that while he has attended many wounded warrior events, he was enjoying the Celebrity Softball Classic for the first time. He noted that Navy Adm. James A. “Sandy” Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, would be playing in the game.
“So it’ll be fun to watch him, and they’ve got some great celebrities out there as well,” Campbell said. “[I’m] looking forward to it.”
Campbell said he encourages everyone to come out and support wounded warrior events whenever they get the opportunity.
“All of our wounded warriors continue to fight every single day,” he said. “I think it’s pretty special, so I’m proud to be a part of it. To see what they go through in their everyday lives and the stresses they have, and they continue to have, their passion to be able to do this is pretty inspiring.”
The general said when he’s having a “rough” day on the job, he finds it “pretty powerful” when he stops and thinks of what wounded warriors are going through every day to be able to push on.
Zach Briseno, a former corporal in the Marine Corps, shared his perspective for moving forward with his life.
“At first, I thought that my life was over, you know — I’d be in a wheelchair the rest of my life,” he said. “But then you meet other guys that have smiles on their faces. Families are a big help, [as are] organizations like this and the fans that come out and support the organizations.”
Briseno, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, said he was walking three months after his injury and was determined to walk in to greet his unit as his comrades returned home from Iraq. He said he’s happy to be an inspiration to others, but that he remains modest.
“Honestly, there are more inspirational people out there than me,” he said. “I just come out here to play a game that I love to play. I grew up being a baseball player my whole life. If it does help change somebody’s future, somebody’s outlook on life — especially a kid — I’m all for it.”
Greg Reynolds, a former Army staff sergeant who hails from Dighton, Mass., said that with the right mindset and attitude anything is possible.
“I always say the only limitations you have are the ones you make, and I don’t make any,” he said. “Hopefully, you’ll see that tonight. My teammates — we don’t make any limitations. We strive to be better than our able-bodied opponents.”