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ABOUT USA PAtriots

OUR MISSION

The USA Patriots (formerly known as the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team) has been a registered nonprofit since 2011 after the need for continued rehabilitation options for our wounded warriors had begun to rise. Through the sport of slow pitch softball, the organization has grown in significant ways by providing athletic programming, youth programming initiatives to teach the abilities of adaptive sport by our veterans, and to engage our veterans in communities to show off the abilities they now have as post-trauma athletes.

The Mission of the USA Patriots is to bring athletic and like-minded veteran amputees together to promote the benefits of inclusive sport and therapeutic recreational activities, to inspire and motivate communities of people, to support children with physical challenges, and to operate as a vehicle that offers national opportunities for continued service to our country.

Likewise, we established a vision to move our vehicle forward. With all of our programs and goals in mind, it is our hope that the USA Patriots will take action as a leading veteran-centric athletic team that serves beyond the uniform by empowering, inspiring, and investing in communities across America with the belief that achievement is not without sacrifice.

Our HISTORY

The organization started with one week of spring training to veterans who were just learning to walk at Walter Reed hospital. After the week was over, it was clear that the ability to use softball to heal these veterans in both a physical and emotional capacity was significant enough to establish a constant program in support of these opportunities. The team was then established in 2011 and took off quite well. After a great deal of success as a team, the veterans came together asking how they could give back to the communities who supported their 3 year journey to health. It seemed most natural to give back to the amputee community to use their service to show that life without limbs can be limitless. Soon, a kids camp was established. This camp is funded by the team who now has the opportunity to not only be a player, but to use their military leadership skills to become coaches for young children who also may think that their limb loss will limit their athletic opportunities in life. This program has been a successful way of giving leadership skills to our veterans, while also directly impacting a community of people they are most connected too. The team has continued to grow since this program addition, and we are now in a place where we are able to provide multiple streams of programming: 1. Team (softball), 2. Adaptive Skills Training through Spring Training Week, 3. Kids Camp and Leadership/Coaching and sharing Adaptive Sport Techniques, and 4. Educating Communities in the areas of Adaptive Sport and Prosthetic Care.

 

WWAST Kids Camp field trip to the District Capital

Other Information

As an organization that has a great deal of travel to complete our mission, our biggest hurdle is travel and programmatic funding. We have a high expense rate and it is crucial for us to maintain strong and consistent partners and sponsors to recover those expense levels. Through our organizational rebrand, we have been able to distinguish ourselves as a stand alone nonprofit (differentiating ourselves from Wounded Warrior Project or other WW organizations due to the name association), and have really clarified our mission, vision, goals, and values. This has set us up to be in a place to better showcase what intangibles are happening within our organization and positioning us to be a viable opportunity for support from donors and sponsors.

 

Our Programs

Our program serves in a few capacities:

  1. Team: We travel with athletes giving them opportunities to play the sport of softball while also being part of a team setting once again. This aids to their physical and emotional wellbeing and supports their abilities to work collectively and in a more social setting which increases the emotional intelligence of the veteran and serve as a form of therapy for intellectual limitations caused by PTSD or TBI.
  2. Spring Training – Adaptive Skills Training: This is a week long opportunity to bring the entire roster together for a refresher on skills and adaptive techniques. We have grown this program in terms of length of time as well as offerings. We have softball professionals on site, along with a Physical Therapist who works specifically with the amputee population. We have also begun to incorporate services by individuals who are professionals with the DAV and the VA to ensure our athletes are getting their medical needs met properly. I would like to incorporate more mental health wellness opportunities here in the future. This program is serving as a “check in” on the physical and emotional state of our players as individuals.
  3. Kids Camp – Leadership/Coaching: Kids Camp is a program that we host for outside the veteran population and focuses specifically on children with limb loss. While we do have preference for children of veterans, this opportunity is open to any child in the amputee community. This program benefits our veterans by giving them the opportunity to serve in a leadership capacity which gives them confidence and the ability to work on their interactions with others. This also is an opportunity for our athletes to become coaches and to teach adaptive techniques to children who may have the same limitations they do. They are able to physically and emotionally coach these children who may feel that an amputee cannot play sports.
  4. Education and Community: During our travels, it is a priority of this organization to work with communities on educating them on the abilities and needs of wounded veterans, specifically those with traumatic loss. We educate schools, corporate offices, and other new amputees in VAs and hospitals across the country about the abilities of an amputee. We also provide this education to our new athletes and have provided a great deal of resources to our athletes on upgrading their prosthetics to be more adaptive for an athletic setting.
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Team Roster

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Player
Current Residence.
Branch of Service
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00
John Mitchell
Tampa, FL
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: Mooresboro, NC

Current Residence: Tampa, FL

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right Thumb

 

Bio

John joined the team after the loss of his thumb, rendering him an amputee. He played in the past with various teams and excelled even after the loss. He now resides in Tampa, FL where he runs a successful business.

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Ben Mitchell

ABOUT

Hometown: St.Croix, US Virgin Islands

Current Residence: Houston, TX

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right Below Knee

Awards/Honors: Legion of Merit, Army Meritorious
Service Medal

Bio

Colonel (Retired) Ben Mitchell was born in 1963 and is from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. He enlisted in the U.S Army in 1986 and rose to the rank of Colonel in the Medical Services Corp (MSC). While his unit was preparing for deployment, Army Colonel Ben Mitchell was nearly killed by friendly fire that resulted in the amputation of his lower right leg. He has served the Nation for 24 years and was awarded the Legion of Merit, and Army Meritorious Service Medal (3).  He currently resides in Charleston, SC with his wife, Griselle, and 13-year-old twins Angel and Gizelle where he spends his time mentoring wounded warriors, teaching martial arts, and enjoying the gift of life.

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Reese Hines
San Antonio, TX
U.S. Air Force

ABOUT

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Current City: San Antonio, TX

Amputation(s): Multiple skull/facial fractures, right eye enucleation and left eye corneal

Honors/Awards: Bronze Star Medal (x2), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (x2), Army Achievement Medal, Air Force Combat Action Medal

Bio

Master Sergeant (retired) Reese Hines was born in Charlotte, NC.  Reese was raised between there and in Chattanooga, TN. After attending a year of college at the University of Tennessee he enlisted in the USAF in November of 2000 as an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician. MSgt Hines has deployed to Al Dhafra, UAE 2004-2005 / Baghdad, Iraq 2007-2008 / Kirkuk, Iraq 2009 / and Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2011. During his last deployment to Afghanistan, he was severely injured on April 9th, while attempting to locate and disarm an IED. The device detonated while Reese was laying down in front of it. MSgt Hines suffered the loss of his right eye, the amputation of his index and middle finger, numerous facial fractures and skull fractures, an arterial bleed in the right subarachnoid artery in his temporal lobe, and muscle, nerve, and tissue damage to his left leg. MSgt Hines retired from the USAF in Nov 2013 and now resides in Eagle River, Alaska with plans to relocate to San Antonio, TX in the near future.

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Mark Wilkins
Huntington Beach, CA
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA

Current Residence: Huntington Beach, CA

Branch of Service: U.S. Army

Amputation: Left, Below the Knee

Awards/Honors: Purple Heart X2

Bio

Mark joined the team in 2019 and has been an asset in the infield. He is a father to 4 beautiful children and spends his time renovating homes in the Orange County area.

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Gregory "Greg" Reynolds
Dighton, MA
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: Dighton, MA

Current Residence: Dighton, MA

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Left Arm Forequarter

Honors/Awards: Army Commendation Medal (2)
(1)W/V Device, Army Achievement Ribbon, Army Good
Conduct Ribbon, National Defense Service Ribbon, GWOT
Expeditionary Ribbon, GWOT Service Ribbon, Army NCO
Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon,
Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Driver/Mechanic Badge,
Combat Action Badge and Air Assault Badge, Expert
Rifleman Badge.

Bio

Staff Sergeant Greg Reynolds (01-09) was born in 1984 and is from Dighton, Ma. He joined the Army in November 2001 in his senior year of High School. He had a combat tour to Iraq in early 2003 as a driver and machine gunner in a transportation battalion. Just prior to his second deployment while riding his motorcycle, he was struck when another driver failed to yield at a stop sign. He is now a left-arm fore-quarter amputee (arm, shoulder, clavicle, and scapula). SSG Reynolds currently shares time between Saint Pete Beach, FL and Dighton, Ma. When he’s not with the team you can find him continuing to build his business, Makin’ Lemonade. Greg also holds the Guinness World Record for 1 arm pushups with a 40lb pack in one minute (54). “When Life Pushes You Down, Just Push Up”, he says.

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Nick Salerno
Tampa, FL
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: Albany, NY

Current Residence: Tampa, FL

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right Leg Below Knee

Awards/Honors: Purple Heart, Army Commendation
Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on
Terrorism Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge,
Army Service Ribbon

Bio

Corporal (Retired) Nick Salerno was born in 1988 and is from Albany, New York. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2009 and has a combat Tour to Afghanistan in 2010 as an infantryman. Nine months into the deployment his squad was on a night patrol to resupply and he stepped on a pressure plate improvised explosive device rendering him a below the knee amputee. He has been awarded the Purple Heart. Corporal (Retired) Salerno resides in Tampa, Florida where he is currently teaching physical education at a high school as well as coaching boys cross country and track.

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Tom Carlo
Cumberland, PA
U.S. Marines

ABOUT

Hometown: Bronx, NY

Current Residence: Cumberland, PA

Branch of Service: U.S. Marines

Amputation(s): Right, Below the knee

Bio

Gunnery Sergeant Tom Carlo was born in the Bronx, New York in 1966. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in November 1983, sparked by the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut Lebanon. He retired in January 2005. Gunny Carlo served all over the globe during his 22-year career and amassed several medals along the way. He lost his leg in a car accident on his way to base in April 2002. He was at Walter Reed when the first amputees came back from the war in March 2003 and was a staunch fighter for the amputee’s right to stay in the service after recovering from their injuries. He currently resides in Cumberland, Pennsylvania with his daughter and grandson.

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Scott "Scotty" Fura Jr.
Syracuse, NY

ABOUT

Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Current Residence: Syracuse, NY

Amputation(s): Right arm

Camp: 2013 Camp Attendee in Orlando, FL

Bio

Scott “Scotty” Fura Jr. is an alumni of the first kids camp in Florida in 2013. Scotty lost his right arm in a lawn mower accident on October 6th, 2005 and first met the team in 2011 in Cooperstown, New York. He made his first game time appearance in Syracuse, New York, at the Syracuse Chiefs Stadium and continued to go to events throughout the years as a bat boy to events local to Central New York. Scotty has attended all three alumni camps in 2017, 2018, and 2019 and was invited to be a mentor at Kids Camp 2018 in New Hampshire. He lives in Camillus, NY and plans to pursue a career in Law Enforcement after he graduates college in 2023. 

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Nick Clark
Sanford, NC
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: Yakima, WA

Current Residence: Sanford, NC

Branch of Service: U.S. Army

Amputation(s): Left, below the knee

Awards/Honors: Purple Heart, Parachutist badge, combat infantry badge

Bio

Corporal (retired) Nick Clark was born and raised in Washington state. Enlisting in the Army in 2005 he was assigned to the 173rd Airborne. In 2007, while deployed to Afghanistan Nick lost his left leg in an RPG attack operating as a 50 caliber machine gunner. He now lives in North Carolina with his wife and two children.

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Lucas Goldammer
 Chandler, AZ
Marines

ABOUT

Hometown: Rapid CIty, SD

Current Residence: Chandler, AZ

Branch of Service: U.S. Marines

Amputation(s): Left, Below the knee

Awards/Honors: Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War On Terror Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NATO Medal 

Bio

Sergeant (retired) Lucas Goldammer was born in Oceanside, CA in 1988.  He grew up in Rapid City, SD and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2006.  While serving in the Marines as Military Policeman he was deployed to Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2010.  While deployed to Afghanistan he was part of a mounted patrol in an MRAP that was struck by an IED.  The injuries he sustained from the blast resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee.  After being medically retired in 2012, Sergeant (retired) Goldammer went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and currently resided in Chandler, AZ.  

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Brian Gentilotti
Jefferson, MA
Air Force

ABOUT

Hometown: Framington, MA

Current Residence: Jefferson, MA

Service Branch: Air Force

Amputations: Right, Below Knee

Bio

Brian is a player representative to the Board of Directors of the team. His greatest accomplishment was initiating our Alumni Camps in order to maintain strong relationships between our organization and past campers and their families. Brian is currently employed in the transportation industry, but spends his time helping and encouraging youth who are living with limb loss.

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Christopher "Chris" Hutton
Grand Forks, ND
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: Grand Forks, ND

Current Residence: Grand Forks, ND

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right, Below Knee

Bio

Sergeant (Retired) Chris Hutton was born in 1975 and is from Grand Forks, North Dakota.  He enlisted in the North Dakota Army National Guard in 1993.  He was called to active duty Once for Operation Noble Eagle, twice for Operation Iraqi Freedom, three times for state activations (flood operations).  His last deployment was from June 2004 through November 2005.  Upon his return to North Dakota, he was struck by a drunk driver while operating his motorcycle in Grand Forks.  The accident left him with a below the knee amputation of the right leg.  Sergeant Hutton continued his service for the Army National Guard until his retirement in 2012, and still continues to serve his community as a Corporal for the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department.

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Randy Tedder
Whittier, NC
Navy

ABOUT

Hometown: College Park, GA

Current Residence: Whittier, NC

Service Branch: Navy

Amputations: Left, Below the Knee

Bio

Damage Controlman III Randy Tedder (honorably discharged) was born on March 11, 1967 in College Park, Georgia. Randy served onboard the USS Nitro AE-23 during Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield.  Randy was injured just weeks after discharge when 2300 pounds of steel from a forklift severing his left leg below the knee.  While in the Navy, Randy was awarded the National Defense Service Medal.  Randy now resides in the Great Smoky Mountains of Whittier, North Carolina with his wife Dottie of 20+ years, son Justin, granddaughter Kaylie and four furbabies.

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Joshua "Josh" Wege
Fond Du Lac, WI
Marines

ABOUT

Hometown: Campbellsport, WI

Current Residence: Fort Myers, FL

Service Branch: Marines

Amputations: Bilateral Below Knee

Awards/ Honors: Purple Heart, Navy Achievement Medal

Bio

Lance Corporal (Retired) Josh Wege was born in 1989 and is from Campbellsport, Wisconsin.  He enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 2008 and has a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2009 serving as a military policeman.   Six months into the deployment his light armored vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device rendering him a bilateral below the knee amputee. Lance Corporal (Retired) Wege has been awarded a Purple Heart and the Navy Achievement Medal. He currently resides in Fort Myers, FL where he is pursuing his college degree in hopes to be a prosthetist.

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Rob Vande Zande
Fond du Lac, WI
Air Force

ABOUT

Hometown: Fond du Lac, WI

Current Residence: Fond du Lac, WI

Service Branch: Air Force

Amputations: Lower right leg

Bio

Rob Vande Zande from Fond du Lac, Wi.  Senior Airman United States Air Force served from 1987-1992 in Misawa Air Base Japan and K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan. Rob served as a Security Police Officer during his time in the Air Force and served during the 1st Gulf War.

Rob is a proud father of 3 sons that have served and are currently serving our country.  In September of 2013 Rob and his wife became Gold Star parents when their oldest son passed away while he was serving at Fort Bliss, Texas.

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Justin Feagin
Melissa, TX
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: Merit, TX

Current Residence: Bonham, TX

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Left Below Knee

Bio

Justin Feagin (SGT, retired) was born in 1988 in Dallas, Texas and grew up in Merit, TX where he graduated high school and immediately enlisted as an Infantryman to contribute to America’s “War on Terror.” Justin was assigned to the 101st Airborne’s historic 3rd Brigade, the legendary “Rakkasans.” After his first deployment, Justin was promoted to a Squad Leader for his leadership abilities and actions in Iraq  for the Delta Companies 2nd Platoon Weapons Squad. Before the Rakkasans deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, Justin’s company sent him to Army Mountain Warfare School. During his deployment in Afghanistan he was attacked while dismounted by a Remote Controlled IED which resulted in the loss of his left leg below the knee. Justin is currently working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports and Recreation Management. Justin lives in Texas with his wife and two children.

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Manuel "Manny" Del Rio
Northridge, CA
Navy

ABOUT

Hometown: Van Nuys, CA

Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Service Branch: Navy

Amputations: Right, Below Knee

Awards/Honors: National Defense Service Medal, Global War of Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

Bio

Airmen (Retired) Manny Del Rio was born in 1986 and is from Van Nuys, California.  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2004 and supported the Global War on Terrorism as an Aviation Boatswain Mate Handler.  While working on the flight deck of the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier, a jet that was being towed rolled over both of his legs rendering him a below the knee amputee.  His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.  Airman (Retired) Del Rio currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where after graduating Grantham University with a BA in Criminal Justice, he is now employed by the Department of Justice.

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Saul Monroy
El Paso, TX
Marines

ABOUT

Hometown: El Paso, TX

Current Residence: El Paso, TX

Service Branch: Marines

Amputations: Left below knee

Awards/Honors: Purple Heart, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NATO Medal

Bio

Sergeant (retired) Saul Monroy was born in 1988 and is from El Paso, TX. He enlisted in the United States Marines Corps in 2006 and had a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2010 serving as a Reconnaissance Communicator. While mounted in a M-ATV, the vehicle was struck by an IED rendering him a left below knee amputee. Sergeant (retired) Saul Monroy has been awarded the Purple Heart, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, (2) Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, (2) Afghanistan Campaign Medals, Global War on Terror Service Medal, (3) Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NATO Medal. He currently resides in El Paso, TX where is a small Family business owner.

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Saul Bosquez
Brownsville, WI
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: Adrian, MI

Current Residence: Brownsville, WI

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Left Below Knee

Honors/Awards: Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon

Bio

Corporal (Retired) Saul Bosquez was born in 1985, and is from Adrian, Michigan. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2006, deployed to Baghdad in 2007 as a 13F, forward observer. About 6 months into his first deployment, his vehicle was hit by an IED. The injuries he sustained resulted in his left leg below the knee and right big toe and second toe being amputated. Corporal (Retired) Saul Bosquez has been awarded a Purple Heart, 2 Army Commendation Medals, and a Combat Action Badge. He recently completed his Master’s Degree in Business and Sports Management and currently resides in Brownsville, WI.

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Cody Rice
Grass Valley, CA
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: Newark, OH

Current Residence: Grass Valley, CA

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right Symes

Honors/Awards: Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medals and Army Achievement Medals

Bio

Staff Sergeant (Retired) Cody Rice was born in 1985 and in Newark, Ohio.   He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2008 and has two combat tours to Afghanistan in 2009-10 and 2012 serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade as an Airborne Paratrooper and infantryman. One month into his second deployment he stepped on a mine which took his right foot, rendering him a below the knee amputee. Staff Sergeant (Retired) Rice has been awarded a Purple Heart, multiple Army Commendation medals and multiple Army Achievement medals. He currently resides in Penn Valley, CA where he is pursuing his college degree.

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Jeff Hackett
Mexico, NY
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: West Haven, CT

Current Residence: Mexico, NY

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right Leg Above Knee

Awards/Honors: Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Combat Action Badge

Bio

Sergeant First Class (Retired) Jeff Hackett was born in 1973 and is from West Haven, Connecticut. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1994 and has two combat tours to Afghanistan and deployments to Kosovo, and Haiti. While Deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 serving as an Advisor/Trainer to the Afghanistan National Police, he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device that resulted in an above the knee amputation and loss of the back of his right arm. SFC (Retired) Hackett has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation medal (4), Army Achievement Medal (5), Army Good Conduct Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. Jeff retired in 2013 and currently resides in Mexico, New York with his three daughters. Jeff owns a photography business called Combat Vet Photography.

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Timothy "Tim" Horton
San Antonio, TX
Marines

ABOUT

Hometown: Sulphur Springs, TX

Current Residence: San Antonio, TX

Service Branch: Marines

Amputations: Left, Below Knee

Awards/Honors: Purple Heart

Bio

Lance Corporal (Retired) Tim Horton was born in 1984 and is from Sulphur Springs, Texas.  He enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 2003 and has a combat tour to Iraq in 2004 as Mortarman.  He was injured when the vehicle he was riding in struck an improvised explosive device rendering him a below the knee amputee. He has been awarded the Purple Heart.  Lance Corporal (Retired) Horton currently resides in San Antonio, Texas where he is an Alumni Manager for the Wounded Warrior Project.

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35
Andrew Peden
Orlando, FL
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN

Current Residence: Orlando, FL

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Left leg below knee.

Honors/Awards: Purple Heart, Joint Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Expert Infantryman Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge

Bio

Staff Sergeant Andrew Peden was born in 1981 and is from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He enlisted in the Army in 2006 after earning his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Ball State University. SSG Peden has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Jordan. On his deployment to Afghanistan, while on a routine patrol, he stepped on an IED causing a below the knee amputation. SSG Peden remains on active duty and continues to serve our country.

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Brent Nadjadi
Bath, NY
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: Bath, NY

Current Residence: Bath, NY

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Bi Lateral, Below the Knee

Bio

Staff Sergeant (Retired) Brent Nadjadi was born and raised in Bath, NY. After a brief stint in college, Brent enlisted in the United States Army as a heavy equipment operator.  Brent deployed to Afghanistan in 2009, as a member of a route clearance package that specialized in clearing routes for coalition movements. Nine months into his deployment, his up armored vehicle was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), which resulted in Brent losing his left leg below the knee. Brent’s awards and decorations include a Purple Heart, Afghanistan campaign medal, Army Achievement medal, combat action badge, and parachutist badge. Brent along with his wife and two children currently reside in Bath, New York. 

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Dan Lopez
Williamsburg, VA
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: Brentwood, NY

Current Residence: Williamsburg, VA

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right, Above Knee

Awards/Honors: Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal

Bio

Sergeant (Retired) Daniel Lopez was born in 1979 and is from Brentwood, New York.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1997 and has a combat tour to Iraq in 2005-2006 serving as a mortarman.   Nine days after his return from Iraq he was struck by a vehicle rendering him a right leg above the knee amputee. Sergeant (Retired) Lopez has been awarded an Army Commendation Medal and an Army Achievement Medal. He currently resides in Williamsburg, Virginia where he works for Reach Orthotic & Prosthetic Services.

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Josh Wilding

ABOUT

Rookie

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Randy Raper , Head Coach

ABOUT

Current Residence: Hackleburg, AL

Service Branch: Army

Job Title: ASA/USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team Coach, Previous Armed Forces Softball Assistant Coach

Randall Raper is a native of Hackleburg, AL. He served 30 years active duty Air Force, retiring 1 Jan 2011. He is a veteran of Operation Desert Sheild/Storm, Operation Northern Watch, Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Randall has played and coached at all levels of softball, including 10 years as Assistant Coach of the U.S. Air Force and Armed Forces softball teams. He also served as Assistant Coach of the USA Men’s Softball Team for 7 years. Randall has been with the USA Patriots for 5 years, now serving as Head Coach and General Manager.

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Marieo Foster , Coach
Washington, DC
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: Athens, GA

Current Residence: Washington, D.C.

Branch of Service: U.S. Army

Bio

Mr. Marieo Foster currently serves as the Chief of Police and Director of the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management for a major university. In this role, Chief Foster has executive oversight for the law enforcement, public safety and emergency management functions for the entire university system which spans 3 different jurisdictions. Prior to his current command, Chief Foster was the first ever Chief of the Arlington National Cemetery Law Enforcement Division. Chief Foster has over 29 years of law enforcement, security and antiterrorism/force protection experience in both government and industry.

Chief Foster holds a Bachelor’s Degree in the Administration of Criminal Justice from the University of Charleston, a Master of Arts degree in Public Safety and Law Enforcement Leadership from the University of Saint Thomas, he is a graduate of the 271st Session of the FBI National Academy, is a course graduate of the Army’s Staff Management College, and is a graduate of both Basic Police and Criminal Investigator Training Programs at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and the United States Army Military Police School.

During his time as a United States Army Military Police Officer, Chief Foster served as a Tomb Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery and was a member of the US Army’s Presidential Honor Guard unit, The United States Army Drill Team.

Chief Foster has 30 + Years of Competitive Softball Experience in Military Sanctions, Police Sanctions, USA Softball & Conference USSSA with championships at all levels of play. Chief Foster is one of the first coaches selected to lead the Team USA Futures women’s team.  He is also an Easton Sports & Smash-It-Sports professional athlete.

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Kai Schjang , Coach
St. Croix Virgin Island
Army

ABOUT

Hometown: St. Croix, Virgin Islands

Current Residence: St. Croix, Virgin Islands

Service Branch: Army

Job Title: Coach

Bio

Kai Schjang was born and raised on St. Croix Virgin Islands. He served 28 years in the Virgin Islands National Guard as a Military Police and retired in September 2016. Kai is an avid sports enthusiast and remains active in local softball leagues and Men’s Senior Baseball League (MSBL) tournaments. He also coaches the Under 18 and Under 21 National Volleyball Teams for the VI. Kai has been associated with the USA Patriots since 2016.  He still resides on St. Croix with his wife Arlene and has three daughters and three grandsons.

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Jack Jones , Asst. Coach
Mandan, ND & Cape Coral, FL
National Guard

ABOUT

Hometown: FT. Wayne, IN

Current Residence: Mandan, ND & Cape Coral, FL

Branch of Service: National Guard

Bio

Jack Jones brings in-depth softball experience to the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Board of Directors. He has participated in ASA softball for 43 years in Indiana, South Dakota and North Dakota. He has played, managed and sponsored teams that have won 26 North Dakota ASA State Championships and 6 ASA National Championships.

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Steve “Pup” Shortland , Asst. Coach
San Antonio, TX
U.S. Air Force

ABOUT

Hometown: Overland Park, KS

Current Residence: San Antonio, TX

Branch of Service: U.S. Air Force

Bio

Steve “Pup” Shortland began playing softball in 1977 but his true passion for the sport began once he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1983. After many years of playing, to include competing at the highest levels, he took his talents to the dugout and began coaching in 1997. After taking over as the full-time Air Force Head Coach in 2002, he subsequently won the Armed Forces Softball Championship in his first year. Until his retirement from military softball coaching in 2015, he earned eight gold medals, five silver medals, and was selected to coach the Men’s Armed Forces team 12 times. In 2009, he was selected to be the first ever head coach of Team USA (the US Men’s National Slow Pitch team) and served in that role until his full retirement from coaching in 2017. He continues to conduct playing and coaching clinics worldwide and has been instrumental in helping the European Softball Federation develop their slow pitch programs. As well, he serves on the USA Softball National Council and is assigned to both the Equipment Standards and Playing Rules Committees as well as the Slow Pitch Task Force. Holding two master’s degrees, he is currently an adjunct professor of business and member of the Delta Mu Delta business honor society. He and his wife Kathleen have 6 children and 5 grandchildren. 

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Desiree Ellison , Executive Director
Tampa, FL

ABOUT

Hometown: Watkins Glen, NY

Current Residence: Tampa, FL

Bio

Desiree serves as the Executive Director working closely with the Board of Directors and national volunteers to advance the team’s mission and provide inspiration to communities across the country. Before leading this team, Desiree was a successful major gift fundraiser and had spent years in marketing and corporate sponsorship for minor league baseball teams and college athletics. Although she herself did not serve, she sees her role as an opportunity to honor those who did, including her grandfather (Army), father (Marines), brother (Navy), and sister (Air Force). 

Desiree earned a Bachelor’s from Virginia Wesleyan University in Social Science as well as a Master’s in Organizational Administration/Athletic Finance and is near completion of a PhD in Athletic Administration, both from Old Dominion University. She currently lives in Tampa, Florida with her beloved dogs, a Husky (Denver) and Pomeranian (Winston).

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Jessica Bosquez , PT
Brownsville, WI

ABOUT

Hometown: Campbellsport, WI

Current Residence: Brownsville, WI

College: Carrol College

Job Title: Team Physical Therapist, DPT

Bio

Jessica’s early interest in anatomy and physiology, along with my love for sports, paved the road for her career in physical therapy.  After high school, she attended Carroll College where she played volleyball and softball and received both her B.S. and Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Throughout graduate school Jessica gained experience in treating patients with various orthopedic, pulmonary and neurological conditions. She also worked with patients and aided in designing rehabilitation programs in more specialized areas such as traumatic brain injury, pediatrics, and patients with amputations.  

Jessica has been the primary physical therapist for the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team since 2015. She travels the country with these amazing men and women to manage their previous and current injuries while also focusing on injury prevention. Jessica has since met her husband on this team and they currently reside in Brownsville, WI with their three children.  

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John Mitchell

ABOUT

Hometown: Mooresboro, NC

Current Residence: Tampa, FL

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right Thumb

 

INTERESTS

John joined the team after the loss of his thumb, rendering him an amputee. He played in the past with various teams and excelled even after the loss. He now resides in Tampa, FL where he runs a successful business.

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Ben Mitchell

ABOUT

Hometown: St.Croix, US Virgin Islands

Current Residence: Houston, TX

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right Below Knee

Awards/Honors: Legion of Merit, Army Meritorious
Service Medal

INTERESTS

Colonel (Retired) Ben Mitchell was born in 1963 and is from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. He enlisted in the U.S Army in 1986 and rose to the rank of Colonel in the Medical Services Corp (MSC). While his unit was preparing for deployment, Army Colonel Ben Mitchell was nearly killed by friendly fire that resulted in the amputation of his lower right leg. He has served the Nation for 24 years and was awarded the Legion of Merit, and Army Meritorious Service Medal (3).  He currently resides in Charleston, SC with his wife, Griselle, and 13-year-old twins Angel and Gizelle where he spends his time mentoring wounded warriors, teaching martial arts, and enjoying the gift of life.

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Reese Hines

ABOUT

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Current City: San Antonio, TX

Amputation(s): Multiple skull/facial fractures, right eye enucleation and left eye corneal

Honors/Awards: Bronze Star Medal (x2), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (x2), Army Achievement Medal, Air Force Combat Action Medal

INTERESTS

Master Sergeant (retired) Reese Hines was born in Charlotte, NC.  Reese was raised between there and in Chattanooga, TN. After attending a year of college at the University of Tennessee he enlisted in the USAF in November of 2000 as an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician. MSgt Hines has deployed to Al Dhafra, UAE 2004-2005 / Baghdad, Iraq 2007-2008 / Kirkuk, Iraq 2009 / and Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2011. During his last deployment to Afghanistan, he was severely injured on April 9th, while attempting to locate and disarm an IED. The device detonated while Reese was laying down in front of it. MSgt Hines suffered the loss of his right eye, the amputation of his index and middle finger, numerous facial fractures and skull fractures, an arterial bleed in the right subarachnoid artery in his temporal lobe, and muscle, nerve, and tissue damage to his left leg. MSgt Hines retired from the USAF in Nov 2013 and now resides in Eagle River, Alaska with plans to relocate to San Antonio, TX in the near future.

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Mark Wilkins

ABOUT

Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA

Current Residence: Huntington Beach, CA

Branch of Service: U.S. Army

Amputation: Left, Below the Knee

Awards/Honors: Purple Heart X2

INTERESTS

Mark joined the team in 2019 and has been an asset in the infield. He is a father to 4 beautiful children and spends his time renovating homes in the Orange County area.

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Gregory "Greg" Reynolds

ABOUT

Hometown: Dighton, MA

Current Residence: Dighton, MA

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Left Arm Forequarter

Honors/Awards: Army Commendation Medal (2)
(1)W/V Device, Army Achievement Ribbon, Army Good
Conduct Ribbon, National Defense Service Ribbon, GWOT
Expeditionary Ribbon, GWOT Service Ribbon, Army NCO
Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon,
Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Driver/Mechanic Badge,
Combat Action Badge and Air Assault Badge, Expert
Rifleman Badge.

INTERESTS

Staff Sergeant Greg Reynolds (01-09) was born in 1984 and is from Dighton, Ma. He joined the Army in November 2001 in his senior year of High School. He had a combat tour to Iraq in early 2003 as a driver and machine gunner in a transportation battalion. Just prior to his second deployment while riding his motorcycle, he was struck when another driver failed to yield at a stop sign. He is now a left-arm fore-quarter amputee (arm, shoulder, clavicle, and scapula). SSG Reynolds currently shares time between Saint Pete Beach, FL and Dighton, Ma. When he’s not with the team you can find him continuing to build his business, Makin’ Lemonade. Greg also holds the Guinness World Record for 1 arm pushups with a 40lb pack in one minute (54). “When Life Pushes You Down, Just Push Up”, he says.

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Nick Salerno

ABOUT

Hometown: Albany, NY

Current Residence: Tampa, FL

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right Leg Below Knee

Awards/Honors: Purple Heart, Army Commendation
Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on
Terrorism Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge,
Army Service Ribbon

INTERESTS

Corporal (Retired) Nick Salerno was born in 1988 and is from Albany, New York. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2009 and has a combat Tour to Afghanistan in 2010 as an infantryman. Nine months into the deployment his squad was on a night patrol to resupply and he stepped on a pressure plate improvised explosive device rendering him a below the knee amputee. He has been awarded the Purple Heart. Corporal (Retired) Salerno resides in Tampa, Florida where he is currently teaching physical education at a high school as well as coaching boys cross country and track.

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Tom Carlo

ABOUT

Hometown: Bronx, NY

Current Residence: Cumberland, PA

Branch of Service: U.S. Marines

Amputation(s): Right, Below the knee

INTERESTS

Gunnery Sergeant Tom Carlo was born in the Bronx, New York in 1966. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in November 1983, sparked by the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut Lebanon. He retired in January 2005. Gunny Carlo served all over the globe during his 22-year career and amassed several medals along the way. He lost his leg in a car accident on his way to base in April 2002. He was at Walter Reed when the first amputees came back from the war in March 2003 and was a staunch fighter for the amputee’s right to stay in the service after recovering from their injuries. He currently resides in Cumberland, Pennsylvania with his daughter and grandson.

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Scott "Scotty" Fura Jr.

ABOUT

Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Current Residence: Syracuse, NY

Amputation(s): Right arm

Camp: 2013 Camp Attendee in Orlando, FL

INTERESTS

Scott “Scotty” Fura Jr. is an alumni of the first kids camp in Florida in 2013. Scotty lost his right arm in a lawn mower accident on October 6th, 2005 and first met the team in 2011 in Cooperstown, New York. He made his first game time appearance in Syracuse, New York, at the Syracuse Chiefs Stadium and continued to go to events throughout the years as a bat boy to events local to Central New York. Scotty has attended all three alumni camps in 2017, 2018, and 2019 and was invited to be a mentor at Kids Camp 2018 in New Hampshire. He lives in Camillus, NY and plans to pursue a career in Law Enforcement after he graduates college in 2023. 

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Nick Clark

ABOUT

Hometown: Yakima, WA

Current Residence: Sanford, NC

Branch of Service: U.S. Army

Amputation(s): Left, below the knee

Awards/Honors: Purple Heart, Parachutist badge, combat infantry badge

INTERESTS

Corporal (retired) Nick Clark was born and raised in Washington state. Enlisting in the Army in 2005 he was assigned to the 173rd Airborne. In 2007, while deployed to Afghanistan Nick lost his left leg in an RPG attack operating as a 50 caliber machine gunner. He now lives in North Carolina with his wife and two children.

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Lucas Goldammer

ABOUT

Hometown: Rapid CIty, SD

Current Residence: Chandler, AZ

Branch of Service: U.S. Marines

Amputation(s): Left, Below the knee

Awards/Honors: Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War On Terror Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NATO Medal 

INTERESTS

Sergeant (retired) Lucas Goldammer was born in Oceanside, CA in 1988.  He grew up in Rapid City, SD and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2006.  While serving in the Marines as Military Policeman he was deployed to Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2010.  While deployed to Afghanistan he was part of a mounted patrol in an MRAP that was struck by an IED.  The injuries he sustained from the blast resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee.  After being medically retired in 2012, Sergeant (retired) Goldammer went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and currently resided in Chandler, AZ.  

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Brian Gentilotti

ABOUT

Hometown: Framington, MA

Current Residence: Jefferson, MA

Service Branch: Air Force

Amputations: Right, Below Knee

INTERESTS

Brian is a player representative to the Board of Directors of the team. His greatest accomplishment was initiating our Alumni Camps in order to maintain strong relationships between our organization and past campers and their families. Brian is currently employed in the transportation industry, but spends his time helping and encouraging youth who are living with limb loss.

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Christopher "Chris" Hutton

ABOUT

Hometown: Grand Forks, ND

Current Residence: Grand Forks, ND

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right, Below Knee

INTERESTS

Sergeant (Retired) Chris Hutton was born in 1975 and is from Grand Forks, North Dakota.  He enlisted in the North Dakota Army National Guard in 1993.  He was called to active duty Once for Operation Noble Eagle, twice for Operation Iraqi Freedom, three times for state activations (flood operations).  His last deployment was from June 2004 through November 2005.  Upon his return to North Dakota, he was struck by a drunk driver while operating his motorcycle in Grand Forks.  The accident left him with a below the knee amputation of the right leg.  Sergeant Hutton continued his service for the Army National Guard until his retirement in 2012, and still continues to serve his community as a Corporal for the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department.

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Randy Tedder

ABOUT

Hometown: College Park, GA

Current Residence: Whittier, NC

Service Branch: Navy

Amputations: Left, Below the Knee

INTERESTS

Damage Controlman III Randy Tedder (honorably discharged) was born on March 11, 1967 in College Park, Georgia. Randy served onboard the USS Nitro AE-23 during Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield.  Randy was injured just weeks after discharge when 2300 pounds of steel from a forklift severing his left leg below the knee.  While in the Navy, Randy was awarded the National Defense Service Medal.  Randy now resides in the Great Smoky Mountains of Whittier, North Carolina with his wife Dottie of 20+ years, son Justin, granddaughter Kaylie and four furbabies.

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Joshua "Josh" Wege

ABOUT

Hometown: Campbellsport, WI

Current Residence: Fort Myers, FL

Service Branch: Marines

Amputations: Bilateral Below Knee

Awards/ Honors: Purple Heart, Navy Achievement Medal

INTERESTS

Lance Corporal (Retired) Josh Wege was born in 1989 and is from Campbellsport, Wisconsin.  He enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 2008 and has a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2009 serving as a military policeman.   Six months into the deployment his light armored vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device rendering him a bilateral below the knee amputee. Lance Corporal (Retired) Wege has been awarded a Purple Heart and the Navy Achievement Medal. He currently resides in Fort Myers, FL where he is pursuing his college degree in hopes to be a prosthetist.

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Rob Vande Zande

ABOUT

Hometown: Fond du Lac, WI

Current Residence: Fond du Lac, WI

Service Branch: Air Force

Amputations: Lower right leg

INTERESTS

Rob Vande Zande from Fond du Lac, Wi.  Senior Airman United States Air Force served from 1987-1992 in Misawa Air Base Japan and K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan. Rob served as a Security Police Officer during his time in the Air Force and served during the 1st Gulf War.

Rob is a proud father of 3 sons that have served and are currently serving our country.  In September of 2013 Rob and his wife became Gold Star parents when their oldest son passed away while he was serving at Fort Bliss, Texas.

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Justin Feagin

ABOUT

Hometown: Merit, TX

Current Residence: Bonham, TX

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Left Below Knee

INTERESTS

Justin Feagin (SGT, retired) was born in 1988 in Dallas, Texas and grew up in Merit, TX where he graduated high school and immediately enlisted as an Infantryman to contribute to America’s “War on Terror.” Justin was assigned to the 101st Airborne’s historic 3rd Brigade, the legendary “Rakkasans.” After his first deployment, Justin was promoted to a Squad Leader for his leadership abilities and actions in Iraq  for the Delta Companies 2nd Platoon Weapons Squad. Before the Rakkasans deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, Justin’s company sent him to Army Mountain Warfare School. During his deployment in Afghanistan he was attacked while dismounted by a Remote Controlled IED which resulted in the loss of his left leg below the knee. Justin is currently working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports and Recreation Management. Justin lives in Texas with his wife and two children.

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Manuel "Manny" Del Rio

ABOUT

Hometown: Van Nuys, CA

Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Service Branch: Navy

Amputations: Right, Below Knee

Awards/Honors: National Defense Service Medal, Global War of Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

INTERESTS

Airmen (Retired) Manny Del Rio was born in 1986 and is from Van Nuys, California.  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2004 and supported the Global War on Terrorism as an Aviation Boatswain Mate Handler.  While working on the flight deck of the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier, a jet that was being towed rolled over both of his legs rendering him a below the knee amputee.  His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.  Airman (Retired) Del Rio currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where after graduating Grantham University with a BA in Criminal Justice, he is now employed by the Department of Justice.

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Saul Monroy

ABOUT

Hometown: El Paso, TX

Current Residence: El Paso, TX

Service Branch: Marines

Amputations: Left below knee

Awards/Honors: Purple Heart, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NATO Medal

INTERESTS

Sergeant (retired) Saul Monroy was born in 1988 and is from El Paso, TX. He enlisted in the United States Marines Corps in 2006 and had a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2010 serving as a Reconnaissance Communicator. While mounted in a M-ATV, the vehicle was struck by an IED rendering him a left below knee amputee. Sergeant (retired) Saul Monroy has been awarded the Purple Heart, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, (2) Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, (2) Afghanistan Campaign Medals, Global War on Terror Service Medal, (3) Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NATO Medal. He currently resides in El Paso, TX where is a small Family business owner.

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Saul Bosquez

ABOUT

Hometown: Adrian, MI

Current Residence: Brownsville, WI

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Left Below Knee

Honors/Awards: Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon

INTERESTS

Corporal (Retired) Saul Bosquez was born in 1985, and is from Adrian, Michigan. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2006, deployed to Baghdad in 2007 as a 13F, forward observer. About 6 months into his first deployment, his vehicle was hit by an IED. The injuries he sustained resulted in his left leg below the knee and right big toe and second toe being amputated. Corporal (Retired) Saul Bosquez has been awarded a Purple Heart, 2 Army Commendation Medals, and a Combat Action Badge. He recently completed his Master’s Degree in Business and Sports Management and currently resides in Brownsville, WI.

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Cody Rice

ABOUT

Hometown: Newark, OH

Current Residence: Grass Valley, CA

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right Symes

Honors/Awards: Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medals and Army Achievement Medals

INTERESTS

Staff Sergeant (Retired) Cody Rice was born in 1985 and in Newark, Ohio.   He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2008 and has two combat tours to Afghanistan in 2009-10 and 2012 serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade as an Airborne Paratrooper and infantryman. One month into his second deployment he stepped on a mine which took his right foot, rendering him a below the knee amputee. Staff Sergeant (Retired) Rice has been awarded a Purple Heart, multiple Army Commendation medals and multiple Army Achievement medals. He currently resides in Penn Valley, CA where he is pursuing his college degree.

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Jeff Hackett

ABOUT

Hometown: West Haven, CT

Current Residence: Mexico, NY

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right Leg Above Knee

Awards/Honors: Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Combat Action Badge

INTERESTS

Sergeant First Class (Retired) Jeff Hackett was born in 1973 and is from West Haven, Connecticut. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1994 and has two combat tours to Afghanistan and deployments to Kosovo, and Haiti. While Deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 serving as an Advisor/Trainer to the Afghanistan National Police, he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device that resulted in an above the knee amputation and loss of the back of his right arm. SFC (Retired) Hackett has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation medal (4), Army Achievement Medal (5), Army Good Conduct Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. Jeff retired in 2013 and currently resides in Mexico, New York with his three daughters. Jeff owns a photography business called Combat Vet Photography.

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Timothy "Tim" Horton

ABOUT

Hometown: Sulphur Springs, TX

Current Residence: San Antonio, TX

Service Branch: Marines

Amputations: Left, Below Knee

Awards/Honors: Purple Heart

INTERESTS

Lance Corporal (Retired) Tim Horton was born in 1984 and is from Sulphur Springs, Texas.  He enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 2003 and has a combat tour to Iraq in 2004 as Mortarman.  He was injured when the vehicle he was riding in struck an improvised explosive device rendering him a below the knee amputee. He has been awarded the Purple Heart.  Lance Corporal (Retired) Horton currently resides in San Antonio, Texas where he is an Alumni Manager for the Wounded Warrior Project.

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Andrew Peden

ABOUT

Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN

Current Residence: Orlando, FL

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Left leg below knee.

Honors/Awards: Purple Heart, Joint Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Expert Infantryman Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge

INTERESTS

Staff Sergeant Andrew Peden was born in 1981 and is from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He enlisted in the Army in 2006 after earning his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Ball State University. SSG Peden has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Jordan. On his deployment to Afghanistan, while on a routine patrol, he stepped on an IED causing a below the knee amputation. SSG Peden remains on active duty and continues to serve our country.

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Brent Nadjadi

ABOUT

Hometown: Bath, NY

Current Residence: Bath, NY

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Bi Lateral, Below the Knee

INTERESTS

Staff Sergeant (Retired) Brent Nadjadi was born and raised in Bath, NY. After a brief stint in college, Brent enlisted in the United States Army as a heavy equipment operator.  Brent deployed to Afghanistan in 2009, as a member of a route clearance package that specialized in clearing routes for coalition movements. Nine months into his deployment, his up armored vehicle was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), which resulted in Brent losing his left leg below the knee. Brent’s awards and decorations include a Purple Heart, Afghanistan campaign medal, Army Achievement medal, combat action badge, and parachutist badge. Brent along with his wife and two children currently reside in Bath, New York. 

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Dan Lopez

ABOUT

Hometown: Brentwood, NY

Current Residence: Williamsburg, VA

Service Branch: Army

Amputations: Right, Above Knee

Awards/Honors: Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal

INTERESTS

Sergeant (Retired) Daniel Lopez was born in 1979 and is from Brentwood, New York.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1997 and has a combat tour to Iraq in 2005-2006 serving as a mortarman.   Nine days after his return from Iraq he was struck by a vehicle rendering him a right leg above the knee amputee. Sergeant (Retired) Lopez has been awarded an Army Commendation Medal and an Army Achievement Medal. He currently resides in Williamsburg, Virginia where he works for Reach Orthotic & Prosthetic Services.

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Josh Wilding

ABOUT

Rookie

INTERESTS

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Randy Raper , Head Coach

ABOUT

Current Residence: Hackleburg, AL

Service Branch: Army

Job Title: ASA/USA Softball Men’s Slow Pitch National Team Coach, Previous Armed Forces Softball Assistant Coach

Randall Raper is a native of Hackleburg, AL. He served 30 years active duty Air Force, retiring 1 Jan 2011. He is a veteran of Operation Desert Sheild/Storm, Operation Northern Watch, Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Randall has played and coached at all levels of softball, including 10 years as Assistant Coach of the U.S. Air Force and Armed Forces softball teams. He also served as Assistant Coach of the USA Men’s Softball Team for 7 years. Randall has been with the USA Patriots for 5 years, now serving as Head Coach and General Manager.

INTERESTS

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Marieo Foster , Coach

ABOUT

Hometown: Athens, GA

Current Residence: Washington, D.C.

Branch of Service: U.S. Army

INTERESTS

Mr. Marieo Foster currently serves as the Chief of Police and Director of the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management for a major university. In this role, Chief Foster has executive oversight for the law enforcement, public safety and emergency management functions for the entire university system which spans 3 different jurisdictions. Prior to his current command, Chief Foster was the first ever Chief of the Arlington National Cemetery Law Enforcement Division. Chief Foster has over 29 years of law enforcement, security and antiterrorism/force protection experience in both government and industry.

Chief Foster holds a Bachelor’s Degree in the Administration of Criminal Justice from the University of Charleston, a Master of Arts degree in Public Safety and Law Enforcement Leadership from the University of Saint Thomas, he is a graduate of the 271st Session of the FBI National Academy, is a course graduate of the Army’s Staff Management College, and is a graduate of both Basic Police and Criminal Investigator Training Programs at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and the United States Army Military Police School.

During his time as a United States Army Military Police Officer, Chief Foster served as a Tomb Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery and was a member of the US Army’s Presidential Honor Guard unit, The United States Army Drill Team.

Chief Foster has 30 + Years of Competitive Softball Experience in Military Sanctions, Police Sanctions, USA Softball & Conference USSSA with championships at all levels of play. Chief Foster is one of the first coaches selected to lead the Team USA Futures women’s team.  He is also an Easton Sports & Smash-It-Sports professional athlete.

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Kai Schjang , Coach

ABOUT

Hometown: St. Croix, Virgin Islands

Current Residence: St. Croix, Virgin Islands

Service Branch: Army

Job Title: Coach

INTERESTS

Kai Schjang was born and raised on St. Croix Virgin Islands. He served 28 years in the Virgin Islands National Guard as a Military Police and retired in September 2016. Kai is an avid sports enthusiast and remains active in local softball leagues and Men’s Senior Baseball League (MSBL) tournaments. He also coaches the Under 18 and Under 21 National Volleyball Teams for the VI. Kai has been associated with the USA Patriots since 2016.  He still resides on St. Croix with his wife Arlene and has three daughters and three grandsons.

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Jack Jones , Asst. Coach

ABOUT

Hometown: FT. Wayne, IN

Current Residence: Mandan, ND & Cape Coral, FL

Branch of Service: National Guard

INTERESTS

Jack Jones brings in-depth softball experience to the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Board of Directors. He has participated in ASA softball for 43 years in Indiana, South Dakota and North Dakota. He has played, managed and sponsored teams that have won 26 North Dakota ASA State Championships and 6 ASA National Championships.

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Steve “Pup” Shortland , Asst. Coach

ABOUT

Hometown: Overland Park, KS

Current Residence: San Antonio, TX

Branch of Service: U.S. Air Force

INTERESTS

Steve “Pup” Shortland began playing softball in 1977 but his true passion for the sport began once he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1983. After many years of playing, to include competing at the highest levels, he took his talents to the dugout and began coaching in 1997. After taking over as the full-time Air Force Head Coach in 2002, he subsequently won the Armed Forces Softball Championship in his first year. Until his retirement from military softball coaching in 2015, he earned eight gold medals, five silver medals, and was selected to coach the Men’s Armed Forces team 12 times. In 2009, he was selected to be the first ever head coach of Team USA (the US Men’s National Slow Pitch team) and served in that role until his full retirement from coaching in 2017. He continues to conduct playing and coaching clinics worldwide and has been instrumental in helping the European Softball Federation develop their slow pitch programs. As well, he serves on the USA Softball National Council and is assigned to both the Equipment Standards and Playing Rules Committees as well as the Slow Pitch Task Force. Holding two master’s degrees, he is currently an adjunct professor of business and member of the Delta Mu Delta business honor society. He and his wife Kathleen have 6 children and 5 grandchildren. 

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Desiree Ellison , Executive Director

ABOUT

Hometown: Watkins Glen, NY

Current Residence: Tampa, FL

INTERESTS

Desiree serves as the Executive Director working closely with the Board of Directors and national volunteers to advance the team’s mission and provide inspiration to communities across the country. Before leading this team, Desiree was a successful major gift fundraiser and had spent years in marketing and corporate sponsorship for minor league baseball teams and college athletics. Although she herself did not serve, she sees her role as an opportunity to honor those who did, including her grandfather (Army), father (Marines), brother (Navy), and sister (Air Force). 

Desiree earned a Bachelor’s from Virginia Wesleyan University in Social Science as well as a Master’s in Organizational Administration/Athletic Finance and is near completion of a PhD in Athletic Administration, both from Old Dominion University. She currently lives in Tampa, Florida with her beloved dogs, a Husky (Denver) and Pomeranian (Winston).

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Jessica Bosquez , PT

ABOUT

Hometown: Campbellsport, WI

Current Residence: Brownsville, WI

College: Carrol College

Job Title: Team Physical Therapist, DPT

INTERESTS

Jessica’s early interest in anatomy and physiology, along with my love for sports, paved the road for her career in physical therapy.  After high school, she attended Carroll College where she played volleyball and softball and received both her B.S. and Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Throughout graduate school Jessica gained experience in treating patients with various orthopedic, pulmonary and neurological conditions. She also worked with patients and aided in designing rehabilitation programs in more specialized areas such as traumatic brain injury, pediatrics, and patients with amputations.  

Jessica has been the primary physical therapist for the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team since 2015. She travels the country with these amazing men and women to manage their previous and current injuries while also focusing on injury prevention. Jessica has since met her husband on this team and they currently reside in Brownsville, WI with their three children.  

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Josh Wege President

Josh Wege, retired Lance Corporal in the United States Marines Corps, currently plays for the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team. On his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, his vehicle struck a two hundred pound improvised explosive device which resulted in the amputations of both his legs below the knees.

Jack Jones Chairman of the Board

Jack Jones brings in-depth softball experience to the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Board of Directors. He has participated in ASA softball for 43 years in Indiana, South Dakota and North Dakota. He has played, managed and sponsored teams that have won 26 North Dakota ASA State Championships and 6 ASA National Championships.

Bob Eisiminger Treasurer

Bob Eisiminger’ s military career started when he enlisted in the Army as a Helicopter Crew Chief in 1983. Bob then attended the United States Military Academy; West Point and was commissioned an Air Defense Artillery Officer upon graduation. He served as a Tactical Control Officer and Platoon Leader in HAWK units in Germany and as a Public Affairs Officer at Fort Bliss, Texas. He is a graduate of the US Army’s Airborne School and Jungle Warfare Course. In October of 1992, he was medically discharged from the Army due to numerous shoulder operations. His memberships in Military Organizations include the following: Lifetime Member of Disabled American Veterans (1993 - Present); Member of the American Legion (1993 – Present); Lifetime Member of the Air Defense Artillery Association (1989 – Present); Lifetime Member of AUSA (2011- Present); and Member of The Military Order of the Carabao (2015 – Present)

Jeanne Tumanjan Secretary

Jeanne Tumanjan began working for Tumanjan Homes Inc., a family owned development company in 1977 and is now an administrator. She was also a Licensed Acupuncture in California for 25 years and served on the California Medical Board, Acupuncture Committee as a Governor appointee. Ms. Tumanjan has also been an event planner for over 30 years and has devoted the last 14 years to fundraising for non-profits and Veteran charities. In 2018 she was the recipient of the “Women of the Year” Award for The State of California.

Brian Gentilotti Player Representative

Brian has served with the USA Patriots for 4 years and has dedicated much of his time helping and mentoring children who face the challenges of limb loss. After a deployment while serving in the United States Air Force, Brian was hit by a vehicle on his motorcycle, which caused the amputation of his right leg below the knee.

Brent Nadjadi Player Representative

Brent has traveled with the team for 3 years after an injury occurred while serving in Afghanistan while in the United States Army resulting in the amputation of his leg. When not on the field, Brent is spending time with his family. Brent holds an MBA in Business Administration from the American Military University.

Steve "Pup" Shortland Softball Operations

Steve “Pup” Shortland began playing softball in 1977 but his true passion for the sport began once he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1983. After many years of playing, to include competing at the highest levels, he took his talents to the dugout and began coaching in 1997. After taking over as the full-time Air Force Head Coach in 2002, he subsequently won the Armed Forces Softball Championship in his first year. Until his retirement from military softball coaching in 2015, he earned eight gold medals, five silver medals, and was selected to coach the Men’s Armed Forces team 12 times. In 2009, he was selected to be the first ever head coach of Team USA (the US Men’s National Slow Pitch team) and served in that role until his full retirement from coaching in 2017. He continues to conduct playing and coaching clinics worldwide and has been instrumental in helping the European Softball Federation develop their slow pitch programs. As well, he serves on the USA Softball National Council and is assigned to both the Equipment Standards and Playing Rules Committees as well as the Slow Pitch Task Force. Holding two master’s degrees, he is currently an adjunct professor of business and member of the Delta Mu Delta business honor society. He and his wife Kathleen have 6 children and 5 grandchildren.

Tom Plant

No Bio Available.

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