There is something very American about settling into a seat in the stands, soda and hotdog in hand, to watch a baseball game. Last week, I did just that and watched as Navy veteran Meagan Brown was honored by being asked to throw out the first pitch of the game.
It was the first weekend game of the season, and the stands were packed with record-breaking crowds. That evening they all saw Meagan step up and fire a flamer to the Boise Hawks’ catcher.
The crowd learned that Meagan is a veteran and Wyakin Warrior, but I doubt they really understood what that means. They don’t know that she is working toward a double bachelor’s degree while working full time; all while dealing with the challenges that come with being severely injured in the line of duty. They certainly have no idea that she was selected to represent her fellow Wyakin Warriors on that perfect summer’s evening because of her achievements, not because of her injuries. They wouldn’t know that because of the effort she has put into school and her career, her future is incredibly bright.
It is a lesson the Wyakin Warriors continue to preach – that a veteran’s character, ability and motivation are the qualities that become one’s legacy; that injuries and wounds are challenges to overcome, and not the things that define a veteran’s life.
Maybe the crowd didn’t grasp that. They were there to watch a ball game. But those who know the Wyakin Warriors, and those who know Meagan Brown, they understood.
The rest of them will know soon enough.