Former UW-L player serves as inspiration - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |


Former UW-L player serves as inspiration


Eau Claire, WISCONSIN (WXOW)  A former UW-La Crosse player will be watching this Saturday's UW-La Crosse vs. UW-Eau Claire game from a military hospital.

Second lieutenant Jason Church went to high school in Menomonie, and played for the Eagles from 2007-2011.

In August, he lost both legs below the knee when a roadside bomb exploded during his deployment in Afghanistan.

He is currently at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center just outside of Washington D.C. In an interview via Skype earlier this week, he says he remains optimistic about his future.
"I saw the white light for a little bit. I had certain parts of my legs missing. The medics stormed right up to me and put two great tourniquets on and probably ended up saving my life," Church said.
"I really look at it like, it's a situation that when I signed the dotted line to go into the military, I knew it could happen to me. Feeling sorry for myself isn't and option. And I really feel like that has driven me, along with the support that I've gotten, not only from my family and my girlfriend, but from the communities back home in Wisconsin."
To help with his medical and travel costs, the UW-La Crosse football team is holding a benefit for Jason early next year.
He says he is overwhelmed by the community's support.
"Obviously there are not too many kids on the football team that still know me of me. They didn't play with me but know of me. So it's nice to get that support.  It's definitely made me feel like I'm supported for what I've done overseas and it's appreciated."
Church will be watching the live stream of Saturday's broadcast from his hospital room.
He's hoping for a UW-La Crosse win.
He has been fitted for two prosthetic legs and will begin physical therapy soon.
The benefit  for Jason will be January 26th on the UW-La Crosse campus.
Tickets will be available later this month.
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