Local middle school track team honored for helping U.S. Army Veteran


A local middle school track team found that helping others stretches further than a finish line.
they  made a big difference for  a local hero.

A simple trip across a soccer field could have turned into a disaster for a veteran in a wheelchair. 
That’s when some young students with big hearts stepped in to help.

Today, they were on the Evans Middle School Auditorium’s stage, enjoying the spotlight, but just a few weeks ago these student-athletes had their outdoor exercise interrupted by a man in crisis.

Track student, Joel Kunowsky, says, “we were walking by and we saw him struggling in the mud.”

Kunowsky is talking about U.S. Army Veteran, Arthur Rainney. His wheelchair and the wet field that day, proved to be a bad combination.

U.S. Army Veteran, Arthur Rainney, says, “I got stuck and I tried and tried and tried to get unstuck.”

Fortunately, for Mr. Rainney, the Evans Middle School track team knew just what to do. 

“We went over there an a bunch of other kids from the track team joined in,” says Kunowsky.

Moments later, Rainney was un-stuck and on his way. Now, weeks later, he’s here to celebrate their good deed. 

“I had a pizza for them, and they are going to remember this,” says Rainney.

At the pizza party, servicemen from Fort Gordon recognized what the students did with a certificate and badge.

Head Coach, Steven Hardy, says, “the adults, we had nothing to do with this situation, as a matter of fact, I didn’t even know this happened until a few days after the fact.”

Sgt. Rainney even called his congressman. He let Representative Rick Allen know about the act of kindness.

“It’s remarkable what they did, and it makes me feel so good to sit down here and break bread with them,” says Rainney.

“It’s just wrong just to let him sit there and be stuck in the mud,” says Kunowsky.

As the celebration came to a close, Rainney was looking ahead. He says he sees something special in the young people who took time to help him.

“I see our future leaders. president, vice president, trashman, teachers, lawyers. I saw hope in this nation when I saw that,” says Rainney.

“They saw a need of something that needed to be done and they did it,” says Hardy.

SGT. Rainney got with Representative Rick Allen’s assistant to write letters to our President, First Lady, Secretary of Education, and Georgia’s governor. His gratitude for these kids goes far beyond a pizza party.

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