Sports helps heal this Hometown Hero

Sports helps heal this Hometown Hero

DANVILLE -- While serving in the military moved his life down a rocky road, this veteran is not letting tough times keep him out the game.
DANVILLE -- While serving in the military moved his life down a rocky road, this veteran is not letting tough times keep him out the game. This Hometown Hero is part of an organization which lets injured veterans work out their problems by playing sports.

This past weekend, baseball teams got ready for a charity game. Beforehand, WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield caught up with a veteran who says being on the team is one of life's highlights.

For Jason Wills, being on this baseball field isn't about winning.

"It's therapy to me."

The kind of therapy this former Army veteran desperately needs and can't get anywhere else.

"I still have seven pieces of shrapnel still in my brain. My arm doesn't do much. I still have problems with my reading, writing and spelling."

Wills was an Army gunner in Iraq. In 2003, two bombs hit his Humvee sending shrapnel all throughout the left side of his body.

"In my head, I was like, 'I can't. I have to fight to stay here to be alive, to go home.' I wasn't going to die over there."

Eleven years later, Wills still deals with the stress of PTSD and having a metal plate where half of his skull used to be. VetSports helps put his mind at ease.

"They are a group of soldiers that have been hurt overseas that are dealing with many problems, amputees, PTSD, TBI. They get together and play sports whether it be baseball, softball, paintball."

Today, they're hoping this game will raise enough money to build a memorial for veterans just like him.

"This town comes together when we need to. When veterans come home and there's a memorial, they can just go there and relax and say this is for us."

To him, for any veteran, that's winning. The VetSports teams were supposed to play against Danville Firefighters and police officers, but the game got rained out that day.

The Finest vs. Bravest game has been rescheduled for September 6, 3 pm, at Danville Stadium. The proceeds go to the city's Middle East Conflict Memorial.
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