SHIRLEY -- Shirley resident and US Army veteran Michael Sullivan was given the chance to participate in a baseball clinic at Fenway Park for wounded soldiers.

Sullivan and his fellow comrades got to take their licks at the famed Green Monster in left field.

Sullivan was made aware of the baseball camp by Jane McLaughlin, of the adaptive sports division of the Veteran Affairs Healthcare System.

"It was a beautiful day to be around other veterans who want to get out and heal from the wounds of war," Sullivan said. "I took some batting practice with the hitting coach.

"I got to see the park from ground level, and it was great."

The veterans were invited to attend the team's game later that night against the Chicago Cubs, and while not many stayed, Sullivan soaked up the opportunity.

"It was great to see many of my brothers and sisters going through the healing process to get out and get up with batting," Sullivan said.

"It was just great to get that camaraderie back with like-minded people who went through the same things as me. It was great taking a tour of the ballpark with them."

Sullivan stepped into the red clay batter's box at Fenway Park and stroked the ball into left field.

He is no stranger to a baseball diamond, having played the game, while he was growing up in Holliston and graduated from Athol High School.

Sullivan met and received instruction from Boston Red Sox hitting coach Victor Rodriguez.


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Sullivan never got the chance to meet any of the players, as they were preparing for the evening's game, but he did receive an autographed baseball from shortstop Stephen Drew.

"Unfortunately, the players were busy when we got there," Sullivan said. "It was a beautiful day at the ballpark. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is going through physical and mental ailments to just get out there and contact the VA for anything when it comes to healing. They know that my generation of War on Terror veterans want to get out there

"I think the VA is catching onto that. It is definitely helping me deal with my stress and depression."