Nine-year-old nephew honors fallen soldier with first pitch

NOW: Nine-year-old nephew honors fallen soldier with first pitch


A first pitch at Four Winds Field dedicated to those who protect and serve.

America’s pastime provided the backdrop on this Memorial Day to honor veterans past and present.

To honor the legacy of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice so the fans in South Bend can watch their favorite team.

The 20-year-old son of Teri Rose was killed in Iraq on Easter morning in 2007.

Monday, her grandson had the distinct opportunity to dedicate a first pitch to him.

“My grandson Jaxson was able to throw out one of the pitches today. It’s exciting for us and we appreciate it,” said Rose.

Nine-year-old Jaxson Trueblood never knew is uncle, Army Private First Class Neil Simmons.

“To honor all of our military and not just the families of those who were killed in action but it’s important that our family is out in the public obviously to honor Neil but it’s a bigger picture than just the one,” said Rose.

Rose says over the years, the game of baseball has provided her and her family with healing.

Even though a decade has passed since her son’s death, she maintains that on this Memorial Day, America’s favorite pastime is the perfect backdrop to forever keep his memory alive.

“Neil’s not with us physically, but he is spiritually every day. He is Jaxson’s hero. He’s all of our heroes. But he’s also my son,” said Rose.

Rose now dedicates her life to helping veterans.

She and her family were surprised by Senator Joe Donnelly with tickets to the game.

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