Veteran swings for the fences at Turner Field
William Treacy III recently enjoyed a visit to Turner Field in Atlanta that any avid baseball fan would treasure. He played catch with former Atlanta Braves players, and he also took batting practice.
“I came close several times to hitting a home run,” Treacy said. “I was really trying, and I got a lot of compliments because I was definitely one of the more successful batters.”
The event that Treacy participated in on June 27 was called the Wounded Warriors Classic. He was among the approximately 40 military veterans who went on a behind-the-scenes tour of Turner Field, ate lunch, met members of the Braves' front office staff and got to have a good time on the diamond. He also received free baseball equipment from Mizuno among other gifts.
The former Atlanta players who participated in the Wounded Warriors Classic were Chris Hammond, Terry Harper, Greg McMichael, Jim Nash, Alejandro Pena, Marty Perez and Craig Skok.
“It was phenomenal to be in the environment of this humongous stadium and have it nearly all to yourself,” Treacy said. “I had a great time.”
Treacy, 28, received an invitation to Turner Field because of his involvement in the Wounded Warrior Project. In 2008, while serving as an Army medic, he suffered serious injuries in Afghanistan that required 10 surgeries to repair.
Treacy later graduated from the USC Aiken, and he currently divides his time between Aiken, Augusta and Atlanta.
Earlier this year, Treacy attended an Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball championship game for the second time as part of his efforts with the Wounded Warrior Project. Last November, he was the special guest at the Atlantic Coast Conference football championship game in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Treacy also has met professional basketball players, top NASCAR drivers and country music stars because of his association with the Wounded Warrior Project and other organizations that help veterans.
The various activities, he said, “raise awareness about issues that affect veterans and show other veterans that there are programs out there to help them.”
In addition, the events provide opportunities for Treacy to be a fundraiser on behalf of veterans.
“I usually mingle with potential donors, telling them about the different programs and explaining to them where their money will be going,” he said.
Treacy would like to attend medical school one day. He said he also is exploring the possibility of becoming an actor “because I've had fun being in the public eye, and it's gotten me some attention.”
Dede Biles is a general assignment reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since January 2013. A native of Concord, N.C., she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.