Veterans take part in a field of dreams, playing alongside members of UCLA baseball team

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Taking veterans out to the ball game never felt so good for these UCLA players.

The No. 1 ranked baseball team hosted their annual Jackie Robinson Fantasy Camp this week and turned into a field of dreams.

Mario Mirontes is a Marine Corps veteran. He, along with 150 other veterans, participated in the event.

"I suffer from PTSD so a lot of times when there's a lot of people, I just shy away. Stay home," he said. "But I took a chance and look at what I'm getting received with."

The veterans took part in batting practice on the field with the players. They also got to watch regular team practice and chat with the players.

"They talk about coming out and us being ranked and they know our record and they know where we are in the league and they follow certain players. So, it's a true fan base," said UCLA Baseball Head Coach John Savage.

Savage also says every home game at UCLA is free to those who serve or served our country.

Fred Houston is an Army veteran. Houston said, "We put our life on the line and they appreciate that so we appreciate all that they are able to do. The fact that they allow veterans to come free to the game that are here on the base, that's really nice too."

And what would practice be without food?

The Gary Sinise Foundation, run by the actor who played Lieutenant Dan in "Forrest Gump," provided a free BBQ dinner for the vets.

It's a way for veterans to feel connected to each other, to the Bruins and to America's favorite pastime.

"Just to know that I'm a part of something and that the federal government and the state are participating to give me an opportunity - that's what gives me chills and that's where the magic comes from," Mirontes said.
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