Softball game benefits Wounded Warriors
The Chair City renewed its longstanding Memorial Day tradition Monday by honoring its veterans on a day that began at Cushwa Stadium and culminated in a celebrity softball game at Finch Field.
Local celebrities gathered Monday to wrap up the weekend with the Wounded Warrior benefit softball game at Finch Field. Former HiToms and Post 87 players, radio personalities, city officials congregated in advance of the HiToms 5 p.m. game.
“It was truly a blessing, and I feel fortunate to have spent a lot of last night and today listening to their stories, listening to the sacrifices they made,” Thomasville Tourism director Mark Scott said of his participation in helping organize and participate in the event to honor the area’s veterans. “They are true heroes.”
Three such heroes were in the dugout Monday, and enjoyed spending a couple hours in the sun. High Point’s John Clinard, who served the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Afghanistan and Iraq, took time to reflect on those who preceded him in making events like the softball game possible.
“There are so many of us who have fallen,” Clinard said. “They wouldn’t want us remembering them alone, so why not come out here and enjoy each other’s company in the camaraderie of a sporting event?”
Johnny Adams – a member of the 82nd Airborne Division of the Army who fought in Iraq and Bosnia – agreed. He said spending time with fellow members of the armed forces made for a memorable Memorial Day.
“I think what made this day special was being able to hang out with these guys [fellow members of the Wounded Warrior project],” Adams said. “It was really neat to do this on Memorial Day. I really enjoyed it.”
Jesse Fletcher is a Marine who was injured during his second deployment to Afghanistan. The game itself was not competitive, as neither the Wounded Warriors nor their opponents, the folks from 93.1 The Wolf, kept score.
Rather than attending the scoreboard, the players laughed as their teammates laid down bunts to advance those who fought with some who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“It’s great to be with guys from this area who did what we did,” said Fletcher, who is originally from Syracuse, N.Y. “I think ultimately this event is to remember why we have this day. There are many guys who aren’t here who I wish could play softball with me again.”
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3578, or firstname.lastname@example.org.