BROOKLYN, Mich. (WLNS)—Veterans returning from overseas face many challenges adjusting. However, one veteran has made it his goal to give back to the local community.
Ward Willing, has lived a challenging life filled with adventure. Willing has served in the army and even became an MMA fighter.
“After years of martial arts training and a few years of military training, I went well the closest thing I’ve ever had to being in the military is my time in martial arts,” Ward Walling, army veteran and MMA fighter said. “There’s a lot of comradery. There’s a lot of team building. It’s a sense of pride. It’s something you can really be proud of.”
Willing joined the army in 2007 where he served in a security platoon.
“Never in my life have I ever been a part of such a close knit group of people,” Walling said.
Walling is now on a mission to teach other veterans and young kids…”veterans martial art training.” He says the program will help other people find a new purpose in their communities. Something Walling told 6 News he felt himself constantly searching for when he came back to the United States.
Mike Belcher is training by Walling’s side and says it’s inspiring to watch someone who sacrificed so much and continues to give back.
“The guys passionate about everything he does,” Mike belcher, Owner of Scrap Jitsu said. “Since I’ve met him he’s been a positive influence on my life and everybody that I’ve known him to be around.”
Walling says all it takes to get started is a leap of faith.
“Anybody that’s new to martial arts feels like oh I don’t know anything I can’t do this stuff and after just a day of training they realize oh wow I can do some of this stuff and to see somebody gain you know that skill set so quickly that’s what warms my heart,” Walling stated.
Walling plans to host training events like this once a month at Camp Liberty located in Brooklyn, Michigan and is ready to help anybody find a new strength.