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Wounded Warriors play with something to prove

By ROGER BROWN
New Hampshire Union Leader

July 22. 2015 10:35PM

Manchester resident Saul Bosquez plays shortstop for the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team, which is playing exhibition games in Nashua and Manchester this weekend. (COURTESY)

Saul Bosquez said that if he played softball in long pants he’d look like an able-bodied shortstop, which isn’t the case.

Bosquez, a 30-year-old Manchester resident, plays for the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST), which will play two games in New Hampshire this weekend. On Friday, the WWAST will oppose the New Hampshire Nemesis, a Nashua-based 60-plus softball team, at 7 p.m. at Nashua’s Holman Stadium. On Saturday, the Warriors will face a local celebrity all-star team at Manchester’s Northeast Delta Dental Stadium at noon.

Admission to each game is $10, and, according to the WWSAT website, and the money raised at the games will benefit Veterans Count, an Easter Seals program that provides resources and services to veterans, service members and their families.

The WWAST players are veterans and active-duty soldiers who have lost limbs while serving their country. The team includes 27 players who travel the country to play able-bodied opponents, though because of travel, family commitments and other obligations not every player makes it to every game.

Bosquez is an original member of the WWAST, which was formed in 2011.

“Most guys are leg amputees, but if we were wearing baseball pants you probably wouldn’t know,” Bosquez said. “Josh Wege, one of our best players, lost both legs below the knee.

Manchester resident Saul Bosquez plays shortstop for the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team, which is playing exhibition games in Nashua and Manchester this weekend. (COURTESY)

“You’ll see guys diving, jumping and everything else this weekend. You’ll see two good games.

“We play games around the country and try to spread the word about the disabled community as a whole. We try to share the message that once you’ve been disabled, it’s not the end for you. There are still things you can do. Right now I think we’re booked solid through 2015 and most of 2016.”

Bosquez grew up in Michigan and played baseball at Eastern Michigan University, but took a job in New Hampshire after he was injured while serving in the Army. He was in a vehicle that was hit by an improvised explosive device and had his left leg amputated below the left knee.

He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in sports management at Southern New Hampshire University.

“I usually play third base or shortstop,” Bosquez said. “I still have pretty good range.”

The WWAST also sponsors an annual softball camp for children ages 8 to 12 who face many of the same challenges as the wounded warriors. WWAST players serve as coaches and mentors at the camp, which is held at a different location each year. The inaugural camp was held in 2013.

“Now we’re in the unique position to give back,” Bosquez said. “They love it because they’re around kids like themselves. Anyone who has played sports — you enjoy that camaraderie on the team. Just to see them having fun is great.”

rbrown@unionleader.com


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