Wounded Warriors hit home run with Louisville softball camp


by Brooke Hasch


Posted on June 10, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 10 at 2:08 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- They are some of our country's bravest who sacrificed for our freedom during war. During the week of June 9, a group of wounded warriors is in town for a softball camp in which only a select few can take part.

"I lost my leg to an IED in Afghanistan, in 2004," Dan Lasko, a veteran said. It happened within the first 30 days of his first tour.

Lasko is one of more than two dozen military veterans who play for the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team across the country. They received their injuries while fighting in wars overseas.

The team plays 11 weeks out of the year, but the veterans stepped up their game alongside 20 boys and girls who've struggled through some of the same injuries and loss of limbs.

"Lawn mower accident from my dad," Ole Olesen, an 8-year-old from Washington said while pointing to his prosthetic leg.

This week-long camp isn't about what these kids can't do, but stepping up to the plate and realizing anything is possible.

"It's wonderful to see some of the kids and our guys who have the same issues and challenges interacting with each other," Susan Rodio, the founder of the softball team said.

Their parents watched from the sidelines, snapping memories they'll remember forever.

"It's made my kid's day. It's made my day. All these kids having fun like this, it's incredible," Chris Kazemekaf, from Georgia said.

Kazemekaf's son was born without a hand.

"This morning at breakfast, he was like, 'Dad, that's so cool! Wow, I'm not the only one out here like this," he said.

Those same emotions were felt by everyone on the field.

"It feels great. It's awesome to be out there with all these kids with disabilities; missing arms and legs. True inspiration for me to see the kids,"' Lasko said.

These practices lead up to the big game on Friday, when the children will divide into two teams and play each other at Louisville Slugger Field. Their game will take place before the Bats game at 5 p.m.

For photos from the camp, click here.