Published: 8/2/2012 3:47:42 PM
See you at the ballgames
Last Saturday I drove out to Peters Creek to cover the annual Southern Softball Association of America Armed Forces Military World tournament.
The venue was Cevie S. Faircloth Memorial Fields, just outside of Roseboro, N.C., about 25 miles south of Fort Bragg. This is significant because it’s close enough to draw participation from several Fort Bragg servicemembers and their Families.
There, men and women from Army installations across the southeast took part in women and men’s tournaments to crown the best softball team.
The men’s Team Bragg won second place in the Varsity A Division with an overall record of 6-2.
“It’s a great environment — a lot of brotherhood, sisterhood and fellowship is out here. It’s a great way to make friends,” said David Moore, Team Bragg’s centerfielder, and a sergeant with the 30th Engineer Battalion.
The tournament is also especially relaxing to Soldiers who have recently returned from deployment, said Team Bragg’s assistant coach, Pete Cutwright, an Army retiree who served 22 years.
There were 15 men’s and six women’s team represented, said Beckie Smith, SSAA regional president and proprietor of the memorial fields. They were from teams like Amigo’s, Team Fallen Soldiers, Lady Code Red, Lady Generals, Elite and Warfighters. The best reward, said Smith is giving back to the military community.
In the three years, I’ve written for the Paraglide, I’ve covered softball, ice skating, baseball, basketball, fishing, skeet shooting, canoeing, and other athletic events.
I sometimes can’t believe I get paid to watch a summer softball game or a father fishing with his son.
For Soldiers who have to stay mission ready, who sacrifice to put America first, it has always been a pleasure to see them relax and enjoy the sport they love.
As I’ve covered these stories, I’ve often asked servicemembers one specific question — ‘why is it important for Soldiers to take part in this event?’ Again and again, the reply has been to help maintain “espirit de corps.” From the highest-ranking officer to the lowest-ranking enlisted servicemember, it’s an answer that I’ve repeatedly heard.
It’s not just a catch phrase. For men and women who would lay down their lives for each other, it’s a testament to the veracity of brotherhood and sisterhood.
When I left the SSSA tournament Saturday, I said to Smith, “I guess I’ll see you next year.”
If God wills, I plan on it.
In the meantime, for more information about joining Fort Bragg sports leagues or teams, visit www.fortbraggmwr.com or call 396-1217.
For more information about the Southern Softball Association of America, visit its website at www.ssaasoftball.com.
See you at the ballgames. I’ll be the one with the huge Army green camera bag and a reporter’s notebook.
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