SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Veterans returning from war can have a difficult time adapting to civilian life. One Valley veteran turned to MMA to help. He's now competing in his first competition this weekend and will retire the same day so he can donate his kidney to his father.
Army Veteran Dustin Logan served three tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar. He says his return home was anything but smooth.
"You know when people are overseas they see things that no human being should ever have to see? It's a struggle to the point where you close your eyes, and you don't dream, it's just a nightmare," said Dustin Logan.
Dustin says he was lost and looking for an escape, he found it at Fight Ready Gym in Scottsdale where he's been training in MMA for over a year.
"It really relaxes me, so whenever I'm pissed off, whenever I'm upset, whenever I'm having an issue, I just come to the gym I hit some bags, you know just being here is therapeutic," said Logan.
Dustin will compete in his first and final MMA fight on Saturday. Retired from the ring, he can donate his kidney to his diabetic father a gesture that's inspired both his colleagues and his coach.
"It's just phenomenal what he's doing, he's got a heart for sure and he's a caring kid that's for sure. I'm glad to be a part of his journey," said Roman Salazar.
Dustin's dad is flying across the country to watch his son fight. Win or lose he says he'll return to the gym, a place he says has always felt like home.
"This allowed me to get other outlets, this allowed me to open up to being regular again," he said.
If you'd like to watch Dustin compete, he'll be fighting this Saturday at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino in Chandler. The fights start at 7:30 PM and tickets start at $25.