Central Texas community unites to help war veteran shocked by power line

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 7:31 PM CDT
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GATESVILLE, Texas (KWTX) - The Gatesville community is pulling together to help Jason Shields, a war veteran and local businessman recovering in a hospital after he was shocked by a power line on Monday, June 28.

Shields is the owner of Cutting Edge Graphics, a signage company.

His family and witnesses say he was removing a sign at a local business at the corner of East Main Street and North 24th Street when his lift platform hit the utility line.

Witnesses said Shields’ shirt immediately caught fire, but the businessman remained resilient.

“He was climbing down from the ladder. He was coherent,” said the man’s daughter, Yvonne Springer.

“I can’t even imagine anybody else being able to do that and he’s still showing so much strength at the hospital.”

Springer said her father is in stable condition and medical staff at the burn center in Austin have nicknamed him the “Bucking Bronco” because of how fiercely he is fighting.

Shields is a veteran of the US Army and, according to his family, has fought in three wars. They say his strength in fighting for his life now was born out of that.

“His service definitely gave him that resiliency. This is a pretty tough situation for all of us and not all of us are equipped to handle it,” said Shields’ son, Corey High.

A group of children in the area on Monday also witnessed the incident. On Thursday, they set up a lemonade stand at the very site where it happened to raise money for Shields’ medical costs.

Community members have also created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Shield’s recovery. There is also a fundraiser event with tournaments and live music being planned for August 1st at Bare Bones BBQ in Gatesville.

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