March 9, 2013
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BETHESDA, Md. — The University of Iowa softball team visited America’s Wounded Warriors on Saturday night at the Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. The Hawkeyes sponsored a collection drive from Feb. 27 to March 6 and delivered the goods in person on Saturday.
“It was a great experience,” said senior Chelsea Lyon. ” Krystal Shirrell was great, getting everything set up, and the experience itself was great. It was awesome to be able to help out the Wounded Warriors.”
The event was spearheaded by UI freshman Krystal Shirrell.
“It was great that Krystal had some connections, and she knew during our trip to Maryland she could match Iowa softball and the Wounded Warrior program,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “We are really focusing on service activities. Any time you can serve someone else, and not care what you are getting out of it is amazing. It opens your eyes to a lot of things.
“The opportunity to meet with the people that keep us free speaks volumes. Those moments will never be forgotten. It definitely touched my heart.”
The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is a facility providing care to Wounded Warriors returning home from war with amputations and other severe injuries. The Iowa softball team met with some of these American Heroes and provided them donated household items and snacks that were collected throughout the Iowa City community.
“It was great,” said Looper about the collection drive. “We involved the entire community. We visited the facility, but we were representing our athletic department, our school, our state, and the Iowa City community. The ladies did a great job with that.”
“Seeing the looks on people’s faces as they walked by and looked at all the supplies… it is great knowing all the little things go a long way,” said UI freshman Erin Erickson.
The Hawkeyes were able to make the visit due to their tournament at the University of Maryland this weekend. Iowa finished 1-1 on the opening day of the Miken Invitational on Saturday, defeating Maryland (9-4) and falling to St. John’s (3-1). Iowa concludes action on Sunday in the Miken Invitational. The Hawkeyes will face Radford (8 a.m. CT) and Ohio State (10 a.m.).