Disabled vet to compete in national bocce competition - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Disabled vet to compete in national bocce competition

56-year-old Lorenzo Thomas is one of 20 disabled vets nationwide that was selected to compete in Chicago this summer.  (Source: WALB) 56-year-old Lorenzo Thomas is one of 20 disabled vets nationwide that was selected to compete in Chicago this summer.  (Source: WALB)
Thomas pushes the ball down a wooden shoot with his helmet. (Source: WALB) Thomas pushes the ball down a wooden shoot with his helmet. (Source: WALB)
Lorenzo Thomas. (Source: WALB) Lorenzo Thomas. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A disabled army veteran from Dawson is heading to a national competition in bocce ball. 

56-year-old Lorenzo Thomas, who served in the Army for four years in the 80's, is one of 20 disabled vets nationwide that was selected to compete in Chicago this summer. 

In September of 2011, he was involved in a motorcycle crash, leaving him in a wheel chair, with little mobility. Thomas says through his faith in God, he never gave up. 

In December of 2015 he joined a adaptive sports program at the VA Medical Center in Dublin. 

That's when he says he fell in love with bocce ball, a game that requires you to throw a ball as close as possible to a smaller ball, or target. 

With a special mechanism, Thomas is able to push the balls down a shoot with his helmet. 

"Hopefully I will be an inspiration to other handicapped individuals that can realize that they don't have to just sit around," said Thomas. 

"It's emotional because he really tries hard and he uses his mind to help guide," said VA adaptive sports recreation coordinator Charlene James. 

Sailors and VA health officials at the MCLB watched Thomas practice on Tuesday.  

The competition is July 7th through the 9th in Chicago. 

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