Monday, April 1, 2013

From a Bloody Battle in Afghanistan to the Pitchers Mound at Nationals Park

From a Bloody Battle in Afghanistan to the Pitchers Mound at Nationals Park
Most people who recover from this injury never get to take the mound on Opening Day of a professional baseball game. Back in 2009, with Taliban insurgents attacking his unit, the soldier looked down at his bloodied arm. A rocket-propelled grenade had exploded nearby, and the shrapnel had torn up his right side.  

"Just throw a bandage on it real quick," he told his fellow soldier before jumping back into the scrum.
Wait, you thought this was going to be about Stephen Strasburg opening the season less than two years after Tommy John surgery? No, this is the story of Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, who won the Medal of Honor earlier this year and is throwing the ceremonial first pitch at Nationals Park on Monday. 

Romesha arrived at Combat Outpost Keating in May of 2009. Situated on low ground and surrounded by 10,000 foot mountains, it was a difficult place to defend (one soldier described the post as "being in a fishbowl or fighting from the bottom of a paper cup.") 

For opening day of MLB, and for all the men and women who courageously serve in our Nation's Armed Forces, this is a poignant and important story.  We really can't do enough to honor these brave souls. Not only can we not do enough for those who return home with painful scars and debilitating injuries, but those who gave it all.


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