Marine Michael Boucher To Be Recognized as Atlanta Braves Hometown Hero

Michael's story will be read aloud while his photos are prominently displayed on the BravesVision video board at Sunday's home game versus the Brewers.

He may have lost both legs below the knee in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan, but lives life as if he were 10-feet-tall.

Less than one year after his injuries, the Bogart resident has not only won a marathon in a wheelchair while wearing a gas mask, been skydiving, and learned how to walk on prosthetics; he's gone skiing, fishing, and continues to take every chance he gets to live life to the fullest, according to his father, Jim Boucher.

Michael is currently back home on a three-week leave from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland for Easter, which he spent in northern Alabama with extended family.  And he's been in Hawkinsville this past week fishing with Cpl. Tony Mullis, one of his best friends.  Tony is another hero who is also a double amputee, the result of an explosion in Afghanistan in April 2011 while he was serving his second tour of duty in the Middle East.

The courage and perseverance Tony and Michael display are qualities Jim Boucher says are exemplified by many in their situation.

"It seems to be the way it is for most of the wounded warriors," he explained. "We were up [at Walter Reed] for quite awhile and got to know them personally.  It’s not 'poor me,' it's not let's cry and be sad about what we are missing.  The atmosphere up there is great for everybody.  Each one helps the other. They realize it's better to laugh than to cry."

So, what's next for Michael? 

On Sunday he'll don his uniform and be escorted onto where he'll be honored as an Atlanta Braves Hometown Hero

The Braves, in cooperation with Operation Homefront Georgia, honor a service member at all Sunday home games each season.  Michael's former coach, Dwayne Sapp, actually nominated him last but year but the season was nearly over and all games were booked, explained Mike Patellis, director of military affairs for Operation Home Front.

"We kept his name and we contacted the coach and Michael this year and he sent in his personal story," Patellis said.

Between innings and in front of his family, friends, Coach Sapp and current members of the baseball team, Michael's story will be read aloud while his photos are prominently displayed on the BravesVision video board.

"It's very joyous because all the time they are reading this, the entire stadium is standing up, going crazy over the service member," Patellis said of the recognition.

The Boucher family is really looking forward to the game.

"It's a pretty good thing for Michael," Jim Boucher said.  "We're very proud of him."


Interested in going to the game to support Michael? The Braves host the Milwaukee Brewers at 1:35 p.m. Sunday. Tickets may be purchased online.


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