TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Sgt. Taylor Urruela as the eighth Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game against the Calgary Flames. Urruela, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to VETSports.
Sgt. Urruela is a leader in the Tampa Bay community who exemplifies the true essence of courage having overcome adversity and responding with a helping hand to other soldiers facing the aftermath of returning from war. He served in the United States Army and was deployed to Iraq. In 2006, two days before Urreula was scheduled to come home from deployment, his Humvee was struck by roadside bombs that killed his commanding officer and severely injured him and his comrades. Coming back home was a difficult transition for Sgt. Urruela. However, he realized that the struggles with transitioning to life after war were shared by many and decided to co-found VETSports.
VETSports is a national organization dedicated to helping veterans heal and transition through the power of athletics. Their mission is to help veterans achieve better physical, mental and emotional health after service through sports, physical activity and community involvement.