Newberry pond offers special experience for group of kids

By Logan Smith - bio | email

NEWBERRY, SC (WIS) - Some of South Carolina's bravest joined children with mental disabilities for a little fishing on a Newberry pond Saturday.

The event was put together by the Freedom and Hope Foundation, which WIS News 10 first told you about a year ago.

Terry Cotney has only been working with Wounded Warriors for a couple years, but the inspiration for his kindness was born 42 years ago -- a world away from this small pond. "I was a very lonely airman - 5,000 miles from home," said Cotney, "And a German family took me under their wings, total strangers, people that fought us in World War II."

Now he spends his days bringing together injured vets and children with disabilities for outdoor events, like fishing and hunting. "You see a lot of people when they get hurt, their mind frame changes," said sergeant Joshua Austin from the Freedom and Hope Foundation, "They get this 'poor me' attitude, and this is just a way to give them a sense of life back."

The events mean a lot to the soldiers and the kids. "I've seen these soldiers recovering, and I really know the price they pay for our freedom," said Dylan Greenway.

"I can't explain it," said Delbis Barreio, "It's a feeling that comes from inside. I can't really express it, but it's a good feeling to know people really do care."

Cotney made sure to thank each soldier for their service, and the wounded warriors often thank him for his. "You see grown men cry and say thank you, thank you for caring for us.," Cotney said, "Thank you for making me feel alive again."

"It gives them the opportunity to feel that life's not over," said Austin, "It's just a beginning."

It showed sometimes the simple things in life have the most meaning.

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