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Getting their kicks in honor of a wounded warrior

11:06 PM, Sep 12, 2010   |    comments
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By Mike Bush

St. Louis County (KSDK)--They came to get their kicks and show their support.

"There are probably 1,000 people here,  " said event organizer Brian Sullivan.

This was a benefit kickball tournament at St. Bernadette in South St. Louis County put on by Kickball Stl. 36 teams plus hundreds of spectators all to raise money for one man.

"Our goal was $25,000 and I think we're gonna reach that, " said Sullivan.

The one man is wounded marine Todd Nicely from Arnold. We've been following his story for months.

Corporal Nicely has been recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center near Washington, DC after losing both his arms and his legs to a roadside bomb.

We saw him shortly after he was fitted for his new prosthetic arms. Then, we saw him get a hero's welcome when he returned home for a few days with his new prosthetic legs.

"I'll tell you what. I have never been so proud of a person in all my life, " said Russell Bono, Todd's grandfather at Lambert Airport last July.

And for Sunday's benefit, he got a special release from Walter Reed so he could be in town to say thank you.

"It's hard for me to get back to everybody to tell them thank you. The least I can do is to show up and to try and tell them personally, " said Cpl. Nicely.

The road to recovery is a long one but Cpl. Nicely is approaching it with the same bravery he showed on the battlefield. He's only been wearing his new legs for a week.

"As time goes on, hopefully I'll get better, " says Cpl. Nicely. "I have a goal of trying to be able to run by Christmas."

While he may not be ready to run, he is still ready to amaze. Like the moment on Sunday when he came to the plate and kicked the ball for a basehit.

"I was just hoping I wasn't going to fall down, " laughed Cpl. Nicely.

Corporal Nicely says he feels lucky to have survived his injuries and to have the support of the community.

"It's amazing to see that people still do care, " he says.

But clearly when you watch a hero like this, the realization that we're the lucky ones really kicks in.

"He's amazing, " said Sullivan.

For our other stories on Cpl. Todd Nicely:






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