Softball tournament honors veteran

A softball tournament was held in West Deer Sunday afternoon to honor the memory of a military veteran.

James Switalski, who was a Army paratrooper, was the veteran the day was organized to pay tribute to. Switalski died in 2007 after experiencing complications while awaiting surgery for a knee and leg injury suffered from being shot during a street fight in Iraq.

There were 8 teams competing in the tournament. Dozens of others also volunteered their time to make the event possible.

Jill Hamlin, his sister, explained to WPXI why she felt a softball tournament was the best way to recognize her brother.

“Growing up, we all played softball and baseball.”

Switalski’s family has partnered with the group “It’s About The Warrior Foundation” to help veterans and their families.

Steve Monteleone, of “It’s About The Warrior Foundation,” spoke about his organization.

“Twenty-two veterans a day commit suicide. So it’s alarming and we hope to fix it in some way,” said Monteleone.

He feels, unlike other foundations for veterans, “It’s About The Warrior Foundation” does the best job at providing an overall assistance to veterans.

The goal was to raise $10,000 in Switalski’s honor. This money will go to towards post-traumatic stress disorder seminars and events.

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