Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team – A Limitless World: third in a series
Happy New Year ! Now that the calendar has hit 2018 we are getting more excited about the May visit of the team Sports Illustrated dubbed “America’s Team”. What a team it is ! No two are alike, yet they all share a mantra of no limits, no quit. It is continuing service.
If every picture tells a story, well WWAST player Nick Freeland Clark has a story or two to tell. His middle name is Freeland, which is also tattooed on his arm. It is the name of his grand uncle who died serving during the Bataan Death March in WW2.
Prior to becoming a paratrooper with the 101st “ The Herd” he actually worked on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska. He was part of the Battle of Wanat in the Korengal Mountains in Afgahnistan were he lost his leg on june 2nd 2007. We pick up his story during his rehab in San Antonio of that year…
While in Rehab he meet some very interesting people who recognized his purple heart valor. There was the day Ted Nugent, yes that Ted, signed him out and took him to his ranch to do some shooting and target practice.
A bear of a man showed up one day to say thank you to Nick. It did not take long for Nick and “Tony Soprano” – James Gandolfini to take on a rock climbing wall !
Jim always a friend of veterans also helped promote the very first WWAST long Island visit and games in 2012. Here wearing the customized game shirt:
Nick was feeling chilly one day during rehab. Well President George W Bush decided to lend him his coat and they shared a laugh.
And there were others. Nick as you will see spread his can do, no limits to his adventures on Long Island ( Nick is from the state of Washington ). As an original member of the WWAST, Nick was coming in for the first long island visit in 2012. Upon arriving the event organizer asked what has Nick not done since being injured that he would like to do ? Right away the answer was play drums. Well the team was having a welcome event that night at Katie’s of Smithtown, a great music venue and the great George Cintron would be entertaining. So Will Bart spent the afternoon working with Nick on drums. That night in front of his teammates and supporters Nick sat down behind the kit and played Moby Dick with George and Wee on guitar and Richie Bartumioli playing bass.
Someone else heard about this remarkable team and their initial trip to NY/Long Island. He too wanted to show his support with the special 2012 shirt. The great guitarist and member of the Eagles, Joe Walsh:
Now this is no ordinary Joe. He could not make the game, but was blown away by Nick and his teammates performance. This particular picture caught his attention:
Joe wanted to thank Nick and meet him. It was all set for Joe’s show at The Paramount in Huntington. At the last moment Nick needed some medical care and could not make it. Well Joe decided to give him a get well card:
When coming in for last year’s visit Nick and teammates Josh Wege and Greg Reynolds spent a day visiting children at the Hospital for Special Surgery. It is one of their favorite things to do. Afterwards they took a patient and threw out the first pitch at the Met game. Before leaving he sampled some of the finest brews on Long Island at The Blue Point Brewery Caskfest. But before leaving NYC Nick and Greg took a great photo. Sitting on the steps of the building on Saint Marks Place that was the album cover of Led Zeppelin’s album Physical Graffiti.
Nicholas Freeland Clark: Rock and Roll Warrior
These stories are just the tip of the iceberg for Nick and his teammates and their times on Long Island. Each year just gets better and 2018 promises not just free games, but so many opportunities to just hang and meet them. The next in the series will lay out the Long Island schedule. In the meantime stay current on Facebook: WWAST NY the website www.warriorsny.com . Donors and sponsors always welcome. Proceeds after exspenses go to help fund Kidscamp where 20 children without a limb ( s ) and a parent spend a week with the team at a sports camp each year. firstname.lastname@example.org 631 840 7787