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Local Organizations Bring Vets Together Over Baseball

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MORGANTOWN - Life for veterans is not always easy. Tuesday night, a few local organizations used America's past time to forge a bond between vets young and old.

It wasn't the most exciting game for Pirates fans, unless you were in section 312.

"It was great, I got to sit up in the bleachers, listen to other vets, family and friends and eat my free hot dog and soda, and have a really great night," said Army Reservist Veronica Maxwell.

Veronica Maxwell has served in the U.S. Army Reserve for nearly a decade. She was one of nearly 150 people made up of veterans and their families who attended last night's ball game, free of charge.

"You get some people who are not so awesome," said Maxwell. "So when you find people who are supportive it validates everything you've done. Everything bad was worth it because it's for them, it's for everyone else not for us."

It was the first time Maxwell had ever spent an evening like this with vets.

She said transitioning to civilian life has not always been easy which makes these interactions so important.

"We had people from a little bit of everywhere," she said. "I appreciate talking to older vets, and seeing what they did for us and hearing their stories and life experiences. And they were asking me about the things I did, the problems I had...A lot of times when you're out and about they'll come to you and be like 'Hey!' They'll come up to you with their little veterans hats on. He was talking about the MOS's he had, he had 3, I have 1 so I was pretty impressed. He talked about learning German, and being sent to Germany and then his tours in Vietnam."

Operation Welcome Home, the Pirates, and the Morgantown Elks Lodge funded the trip.

Jamie Summerlin said it's amazing how much people who served so far apart has in common.

"We may have served at different times, in different parts of the world, but that common bond we have of service to our country will always remain, and it's really cool to see veterans being able to share their experiences together," said Summerlin.