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MILITARY DREAM WEEK: Eric Campbell

Navy serviceman Eric Campbell is using a major setback as his reason to make a major comeback. We've joined community partners to show him our appreciation.

NORFOLK, Va. — Eric Campbell joined the Navy in 2005. While in Italy seven years later, a devastating accident changed his life.

"I fell probably two to three stories, twenty-five to thirty feet," he said. 

"I shattered my left wrist... I shattered both orbitals in my eye, my sinus cavity... But I guess the biggest issue was it did pretty badly injure my brain."

With a long and hard road ahead of him, Eric turned his injury into inspiration.

"I remember they told me... I wouldn't be staying in the military," Campbell said.

"You can't tell me that I can't do something, and I kind of felt like I had to prove them wrong."

To aid in his recovery, Eric does adaptive sports through the Navy.

"It allows the mind to change, relax," he said. 

"Get the workplace out of the head, become less stressed, less anxious."

Also aiding in his recovery is Eric's wife, Sandra.

"She's driven me, pushed me and driven me in different ways... doesn't let me quit, doesn't let me do things like take a shortcut," he explained. 

"And now, we have a little guy. He's 16 months, about."

They're Eric's reasons to keep moving forward-- and that's his advice to anyone facing adversity.

"If you don't have that advocate to help push you, you have to find it within your own mind and your own person," Campbell said. 

 "When you put your mind to something, you can achieve what you know you can achieve."

In appreciation of his service and tenacity, 13News Now partnered with the USO for some special surprises for Eric!

After learning his favorite baseball team is the Pittsburgh Pirates, we surprised Eric with the chance to pick a home game for he and his family to attend!

 While there, Eric will be able to go to batting practice before the game. And the team will present Eric with a customized Pirates jersey! 

We thank the Pittsburgh Pirates for their generosity.

VA Wholesale Mortgage, a sponsor of Military Dream Week, also presented Eric with a $500 gift card.

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