19 May '12, 5pm

Army veteran: 'Mixed martial arts has saved me' #MMA

Army veteran: 'Mixed martial arts has saved me' #MMA

Jeff Collins takes a moment to compose himself after describing how an ambush in Iraq killed most of his team. The firefight earned him the Bronze Star but cost him his place in the military when he was sidelined by post-traumatic stress disorder. Chris Urso/Tampa Tribune HUDSON, Fla. — In a 22-foot-diameter octagonal cage where kicks and punches are exchanged, Jeff Collins finds an escape from his pain. Stalking his opponent, eyes fixed with concentration, Collins doesn't think about the soldiers who died beside him in an Iraqi firefight. He doesn't dwell on what might have been if post-traumatic stress disorder hadn't forced him from the Army. Jabbing, ducking, swinging his feet in a roundhouse kick, his thoughts don't swing to the day his father killed himself in his house. Here at Extreme MMA, a mixed martial arts academy run by an affable redhead from Massachusetts na...

Full article: http://www.stripes.com/news/army-veteran-mixed-martial-ar...

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