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Injured soldier and tween team up on the baseball diamond to teach a lesson

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NEW FAIRFIELD -- At just 11-years-old, Jen Castro is determined to prove she is a heavy hitter.

anderson and jenJen, a sixth-grader at New Fairfield Middle School, is an avid softball player and has also become an ambassador for the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team. She also was born with without half of her left arm.

Over the past two years, Jen has traveled the country attending camps and games with the popular Wounded Warrior team. In her travels, Jen befriended U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Len Anderson, who was hit by an improvised explosive device--IED--while on patrol in Afghanistan in 2012. Anderson lost his left arm and lost part of his right hand from the devastating blast--but he's back in the game as a star for the Wounded Warriors team.

On Friday, the base paths led their way into the halls of New Fairfield Middle School. Jen's goal of getting Len to visit her school and talk to her classmates came to fruition. Sgt. Anderson was joined by his trusty military service dog, Azza, who also endured the blast with him in Afghanistan.

"I thought it was important that he come here," Jen said. "No one really knows what Len has to go through everyday ," she added, "so I wanted to share his story."anderson with kids

Anderson spoke to a group of sixth-graders, met the high school civil air patrol, and then addressed the students at a special assembly for the middle and high school.

Anderson said, "I want the students to understand that whether your completely able-bodied or someone with a disability no matter what, you can do anything if you put your mind to it."

Jen's mother, Mara Castro, said is proud of her daughter's involvement with the Wounded Warriors team.

"They've changed her life, she doesn't feel so out of the ordinary because they are missing limbs too," Mara said.

Jen, who is now learning how to pitch,  said that Sgt. Anderson has taught her not to put limitations on anything.