To honor a World War II veteran, the Fort Myers Miracle put a baseball in his hand. It is the same hand that saved many lives.
Geoffrey Waterworth, who used those hands to treat wounded soldiers and nurse them back into health, said he still sees many of their faces.
Waterworth helped thousands of them as a medical technician in the 83rd Field Hospital in Germany during WWII. Part of his duties were to change bandages and help the wounded that were not capable of feeding themselves food.
“We received casualties from the battle of the bulge,” Waterworth said. “One of the exciting things was when we became a prisoner of war hospital. They gave us German doctors and they used to invite me into their operation.”
His greatest award, he said, is the gratitude of the patients he helped.
“They were pretty well banged up,” Waterworth said, “and thankful to be back where someone was taking care of them.”
Since his service, this man who continues inspiring people has received many honors, including a battle star. However, he said the “mission on the mound” made him nervous.
“I haven’t thrown a ball in 50 years,” Waterworth said.
Waterworth watched his trusty right hand send the first pitch of the game rolling right across home plate. Then, he led the crowd singing the seventh-inning stretch.
It was a community chorus and a celebration of one veteran’s service for the country he loves.