Local baseball league helps veterans readjust to civilian life
Sunday was opening day for Southeast Tennessee's US Adult Baseball League.
Teams from Chattanooga, East Ridge, Cleveland, Charleston and Dayton all headed to Camp Jordan to kick off the season.
The league was started by Billy Massingale, a 26-year Army veteran.He has played baseball his whole life and wanted to give other veterans a chance to get out and play for themselves.
He says 48 veterans will be playing this season, up from the 19 who played last year.
"I came home from several deployments and didn't know what to do," said Massingale. "That's why we try to give people outlets and give them that chance of camaraderie and brotherhood again like baseball can offer."
Greg Rummel served during the Vietnam era from 1972 to 1976. He plays to keep "the heart and the spirit young" but says it's also more than that.
"I think we have a tendency to forget our veterans. A lot of us come home and we try to make it as well as we can on our own, but when we have good support groups such as this and other organizations, it makes it easier in helping to make that transition," said Rummel.
For army vet Joe Greenwood, it's not about winning or losing.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity just to come out and be able to get out of the house and not sit in the dark and be depressed all the time," Greenwood told NewsChannel 9. "This is something that definitely helps."
Massingale started a GoFundMe page to help cover that cost for veterans who normally couldn't afford to play. You can donate here.