Gamecocks tally continues toward ‘8-in-8’ with Columbia VAHCS annual visit.

Story by Jennifer Scales, Columbia VA Health Care System Public Affairs
Photos by Ken Holt, Medical Media/Jennifer Scales, Public Affairs

At various times throughout the year, the Voluntary Service Office of the Columbia VA Health Care System pairs with the athletic department of the University of South Carolina for a facility visit. During this time, the athletes get the opportunity to meet and mingle with those who have served in the military and those who care for them.

(PHOTO BY Jennifer Scales): Navy Veteran Eddie Cook poses with the University of South Carolina Men’s Basketball team, July 26, during their ‘8-in-8’ visit to the facility.

Sophomore and forward for the University of South Carolina Men’s Basketball team, Nate Nelson, joined his teammates for a visit with the Veterans, patients and staff of the Columbia VAHCS, July 26.

“This is a good experience for us,” Nelson said. “My grandfather served in the military. Even though this is my first time here, I would love to come back and thank more of the men and women who have shown their courage to stand up for this country.”

Nelson and the rest of the USC Men’s Basketball Team were meeting their annual summer community service goal of ‘8 in 8’. This is where the team attempts to meet 8,000 people in eight days, just for the sake of making an impression and impact.

(PHOTO BY Ken Holt): Beaming with delight, University of South Carolina Gamecocks pose for a photograph with a Veteran, July 26 at the Columbia VAHCS.

Army Veteran Sherri LaCroix was in the facility during their visit. “This is great, and it gets everyone excited,” she said. “It also makes the day go by faster.”

Eddie Cook, a Navy Veteran expressed positive sentiments. “Their visit is always a good thing for us. It gives us inspiration.”

Marine Corps Veteran Marcus Williams received his Bachelor of Science in biology at the University of South Carolina. “This is like having my alma mater coming to visit me,” Williams said.

(Feature photo by Ken Holt): A shared fist bump is obvious between a Columbia VAHCS in-patient Veteran and members of the University of South Carolina Gamecock, July 26 at the Columbia VAHCS.

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