Bluefield College Football Player receives Armed Forces Merit Award

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BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — Collin O’Donnell told 59News he served in the armed forces starting in 2012. He was deployed in 2014 and sent to Afghanistan.

“I was a combat engineer, bridge crew member 12C. We served in Kandahar, Afghanistan and the locality of the providence in that area,” O’Donnell said.

O’Donnell said after his return to the states, he was searching for a new purpose. He said he missed the good old days of suiting up to play some football.

“Something was just missing from my life. The opportunity to go back and play college football was something I was missing after high school and I felt like I couldn’t give up the opportunity. Time never stops,” O’Donnell said.

Now, you will see him playing football at Mitchell Stadium for Bluefield College. He made the Bluefield area home by opening up a business called the Grind. That is what makes him this year’s Armed Forces Merit Award recipient. This award recognizes an individual each year who has served and has involvement with college football. He said he received this recognition Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020 for Veterans Day.

“It’s certainly an honor to represent my veterans community with this award and to be recognized. There’s a lot of people who work their whole lives and do a lot of things for progression of humanity and never get recognized, and so to have a school and staff that recognizes you and submits these awards on your behalf, it means the world to me,” O’Donnell said.

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