Auburn Softball Visits Veterans Administration Hospital In Tuskegee
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Auburn Softball Visits Veterans Administration Hospital In Tuskegee

February 15, 2005
  

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TUSKEGEE, Ala. -- Members of the Auburn softball team, head coach Tina Deese and assistant coaches Jack Byerley and Ashley Moore visited the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System East Campus on Tuesday.

The visit, organized by the Auburn coaching staff, gave the team a chance to give back to the community that has supported it since its inception nine years ago. Players and coaches toured the facility's nursing home and rehabilitation wing, taking time to visit with patients and staff members.

"It's a rewarding experience," senior Anne Norton said. "It touches you where it needs to. We get to go out on the field every day and then we come here, and it's very humbling."

Auburn head coach Tina Deese countered with the same sentiment. The ninth-year head coach makes sure the Tigers regularly visit with the community, from handing out candy during Halloween to visiting with local school children. Auburn players, in the past, have visited local nursing homes to help patients celebrate Valentine's Day.

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"It's real important that we take time out during the season and the offseason to visit with those less fortunate in the community,"

Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "It makes you realize how special it is to be playing a sport at the collegiate level. We need to make sure to be thankful that we can do that every day.

"We also wanted to make sure to honor our country's veterans with the trip to Tuskegee. It is important for us to recognize what they have done for our country."

The visit coincided with the National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans Week. It began in 1978 to honor hospitalized veterans and to encourage Americans to work at VA Hospitals as volunteers. It also serves the purpose of increasing awareness of the Veteran's Administration in providing medical care to the nation's veterans.

"We just want to recognize them during this time by trying to do what we can," Auburn assistant coach Jack Byerley said. "Tina and I both have family members who are veterans and we wanted to honor them."

The Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS) East Campus is a facility situated on 170 acres of land and located in close proximity to Tuskegee University and Moton Field, home to the Tuskegee Airmen.
CAVHCS was established in 1997 with the merger of the Montgomery and Tuskegee VA centers. The West Campus is a 43-acre facility in Montgomery.

Along with community-based outpatient clinics in Dothan, Ala., and Columbus, Ga., the four facilities serve 134,000 veterans in 43 communities in central and southeastern portions of Alabama and western Georgia.

The Tigers host UAB Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT at Jane B. Moore Field. Tune in live in the Auburn area on WANI-AM (1400), or on the Internet at www.auburntigers.com. Click on the live stats and live audio links on the right side of the page.