24-hour lacrosse tournament held to help veterans - CBS46 News

24-hour lacrosse tournament held to help veterans

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KENNESAW, GA (CBS46) -

For the past 24 hours, the field at Kennesaw Mountain High School has seen non-stop lacrosse games.

But it's more than just a sporting event: it's part of a national event called Shootout for Soldiers, and it's connecting the community with U.S. veterans.

Lacrosse players of all ages wrapped up the 24th hour of this year's shootout for soldiers.

"Absolutely amazing," said 7th-grade lacrosse player Morgan Madish.

Madish and Wyatt Ellerbee are in 7th and 8th grade. There's no doubt they love lacrosse, but they're even more grateful for the opportunity to help veterans.

"I feel blessed to be out here to play this sport and to give back to other people," Madish said.

“It's just a fun way to help," Ellerbee said.

This year alone Atlanta has raised $55,000 for Shootout for Soldiers, and that number keeps growing. Even local vets take part in the tournament and form close bonds with younger generations.

“I got to talk to a couple of the vets and they set up these tents here, and they tell you what happened, they're backstory," Madish said.

Jay Puckett is one of those vets. Because of the event, Puckett created his own charity, Patriot Legacy Fund, an organization that awards college scholarships to the children of disabled veterans.

"That's a lot of decisions families have to make whether we spend money here or there, so we try to take some of the burden off of them,” Puckett said.

While the event is centered around lacrosse, it’s little reminders throughout the day of the great cause that gets players like Morgan Matte choked up.  

"It's a beautiful thing to see, and I get emotional about it because it doesn’t matter if the country is black, white, Puerto Rican, polka dot,” Matte said. “It doesn’t matter if the country is divided right now, we can all come together for one thing to rally behind our veterans and show support.”

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