BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - A local 11-year-old boy and his mother are bringing the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team to Butler County in 2018.
Austin Osner and his mother Kristin McGinn scheduled the visit.
Osner was born without his right hand and without most of his right arm. Despite any challenges he has faced, Osner continues to have a positive attitude and is following his dreams. He is training to compete in Taekwondo in the 2024 Paraolympic games.
"Inspiring for me. I draw a lot of strength from him, just seeing him tackle all the challenges head on," McGinn said.
However, McGinn said Osner has had some struggles, so they decided to send him to the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team's kids camp where children from all over learn how to play baseball from veterans and have the opportunity to interact with other kids who are missing limbs.
"It was good to meet other people like me, and we got to see exactly what other people did, and we learned from each other," Osner said.
"You've got 20 kids that start as strangers, and they leave as warriors and as part of the family," McGinn said.
Osner said it was an amazing experience, so now he and his mother want to share that experience with the Butler County community by bringing the warrior team into town for a tournament next summer.
Osner said it's also a way to say thank you to the warriors.
"We want to give back to them and do something special for them," Osner said.
"For Kristin and Austin to want to give back, it just says a lot about the players, the veterans, the coaching staff and the kids that come out to kids camp," Jonathan Herst, with the Wounded Warrior team, said.
The team is set to hit the field the weekend of August 18, 2018. They will also be part of a "warrior breakfast" for local kids who are missing limbs.
Osner said he plans to use that time to pay it forward.
"They aren't just somebody that's missing an arm. They can also be something big," Osner said. "Being an inspiration is a big thing to me because I get to inspire the people, and that's something I've been wanting to do for awhile."
Osner and McGinn said that the event will double as a fundraiser for the team and as an event for the public.
They're looking for donations and sponsors right now. Anyone who is interested in helping out or in learning more about the event can contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
McGinn said the warrior team will likely arrive in the Cincinnati area on Friday, August 17, 2018 and will stay through Sunday. They're expected to play in two games - one against a local team made up of first responders. They will also play against a local team of businessmen.
To learn more about the Wounded Warriors team, visit the organization's website.
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