News

Actions

Two brothers- one a Wounded Warrior, the other a Miracle League athlete- take the field together

Posted at 9:48 PM, Sep 24, 2014

ROCKFORD, Mich.- Two baseball teams that are both forged by perseverance took the field together in Rockford Wednesday as the Wounded Warriors joined the West Michigan Miracle League athletes out on Nate Hurwitz Field.

For one Rockford family the event had a whole new meaning. Two brothers played the game, one a war veteran still recovering from his injuries and his brother recovering from dozens of hospitalizations and seizures. It was an event that created hope and inspiration for everyone in the stands.

In December 2012 while serving in Afghanistan, Kyle Pletzke was injured in a rollover, shattering his pelvis among many other injuries. He`s endured more than 20 surgeries, returning home from Walter Reed Army Medical Center for a very important reason.

“Probably the coolest thing I’ve ever got to do,” Kyle said. “I mean all the times we`ve got to hang out in the yard and do all this, now we get to do it out on the field.”

When Kyle was injured, back home in Rockford his little brother Spencer was hospitalized facing another of the dozens of seizures he’s survived throughout his young life.

Their mother Mary Jo says this was the toughest time of her life. As Kyle was flown back to the U.S. she was on the phone with his doctors, learning his condition as she cared for her other hospitalized son with special needs.

But through that tough time this family grew closer and the brothers created a new kind of bond. Kyle says he and Spencer would Facetime from their hospital beds.

“If my little brother can go through all of this, I can certainly do it too,” he said.

An unlikely bond shared by all the Wounded Warriors and Miracle League athletes Wednesday as veterans used what war took away from them to give hope and inspiration to each and every athlete facing their own battle.

“Each person out there is their own miracle- all the kids, all the vets- and to have it all at one time is just an amazing thing,” Kyle said.

A lesson from the most humble of teachers, redefining what it means to be a hero.

Kyle will be able to stay home with his family for a few more weeks before heading back to Walter Reed for continued rehabilitation.