News Details

Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team Plays OC First Responders

Six months into his first tour in Afghanistan, Marine Josh Wege, 19, was in a light armored vehicle taking supplies to the Afghan National Police when a back tire detonated a 200-pound bomb.

“It blew up under me, right through the gas tank,” he recalled. “There was diesel fuel everywhere. We were lucky the whole thing didn’t blow.”

Wege lost both of his legs.

He spent a year and a half in the hospital going through painful rehabilitation, learning to walk again and regaining his agility.

“Every day you get better and better,” said Wege, 24. “And now I play softball for a living.”

Wege is a founding member of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team. Some lost an arm, others a leg or a hand – all during service in the U.S. military. Now, balancing military service, college and full-time jobs, these 24 athletes travel the country competing in exhibition matches aimed at raising awareness of the sacrifices service members make and how they can overcome those darkest of days.

“We’re a comeback story,” Wege said. “Softball is just the instrument that we get to use to try to inspire people.”

The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team consists of 24 amputee military veteran and active-duty players from throughout the country. They faced off first against OC First Responders, a team of Orange County sheriff's deputies, veterans and firefighters on Saturday May 3 in Mission Viejo to raise funds for the Warriors' annual summer softball camp for children who are amputees.

Thank you to the OCSD employees who played on the OC First Responders team- Sgt. SONGER, CSA RODRIGUEZ, Deputies RAMOS, TOMASKO, COOK, MATHIS, KRUDWIG, PRIBNOW, REED and DST ELIASON.