LIBERTY CENTER, OHIO (WCMH) — A softball tournament was held on Sunday at Olentangy High School, where veterans played in a game with high schoolers.
All proceeds are going to the OHS Diamond Club and the Fallen 15, which honors fallen service members in Central Ohio.
The veterans on the field say the purpose of the game is to get them out in the community, to have a day of fun and togetherness.
“We’re more than just baseball,” the coach of Olentangy High School baseball team says to the players as they gear up to play ball with men who serve and have served our country.
Melissa Terry sang the National Anthem. Her husband, Sergeant Christopher Terry, passed away 4 years ago and was honored as part of the Fallen 15 last year.
“(To) not always just focus on the sad parts but be able to have fun with each other and just be around people who understand, it’s a great blessing,” she says.
Lieutenant Colonel Marshall Jackson says that’s why this tournament began three years ago.
Each year honors 15 local fallen service members.
“Veterans need to be around men and women who have ‘been there, done that.’ For example, I’ve been a combat veteran, I’ve been to Iraq twice, I’m going to be able to communicate with someone who’s done that as well and that’s good, but I don’t know what’s going to touch you as a veteran. I know shooting events might because that’s common to us but maybe you like yoga or softball. If we create a variety of events we’re going to be able to touch a lot more veterans who need help,” Jackson says.
Cole Robinson, a senior, has a special connection to Sunday’s baseball game.
“I’m going into the Marine Corp Reserves. My dad was a Marine,” Robinson explains.”It’s just tradition, my whole family has been in the military. These veterans have put a lot of sweat into everything overseas and everything like that. It’s really cool for everyone to get together and them have a good time and us remember the importance of what they’ve done.”
This is just one of more than 15 events that place throughout the year to honor the Fallen 15 and to get veterans involved in the community. Click here to visit the Fallen 15 website.
Upcoming events include:
May 12 4th annual Fallen 15K in Dublin
May 23 Fundraiser at Jungle Jeff’s
June 9 Car show in Port Clinton
June 18 BMI scholarship golf outing
August 23 5th annual Cleveland FBI/Fallen 15 Wounded Veteran Appreciation Day
August 25 Fundraiser at Big Walnut Grill in Sunbury
September 9 3rd Ruck, Run, Remember in honor of 9/11 victims
November 11 Shooting event at Blackwing Shooting Center