NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, teenagers can be having with their friends.

But the teenagers in the Normal West boys basketball program were working last Saturday. They were busy helping veterans.

“It’s wonderful and amazing they are volunteering their time for veterans,” said Navy veteran Patsy Mayer. “They could be doing anything. They took the time to help local veterans. On Veterans day, it’s overwhelming.”

The Normal West players grabbed rakes, leaf blowers and tarps and went around the Normal raking leaves in the yards of veterans on Veteran’s Day. They also got a chance to hear stories from those veterans.

“Different stories about battles, about airlifts,” said senior Nate Moore. “All those cool experiences those veterans went through.”

It was an eye-opening experience to hear from those veterans, the players said.

“One of them talked about how it was in the war,” said senior CJ Wilson. “Being on ships and stuff. His whole experience.”

The veterans say they loved having the players do their yardwork. The basketball players, who open their season next week, say they loved helping out and meeting veterans of the armed forces that served our country.

“This is a good memory for them,” West head basketball coach Ed Hafermann said. “Something they can reflect on and be appreciative of the things we have in America. A large part of it is because of our veterans.”