Thursday, August 04, 2011
Hendren's Hyperbole! Episode 31 -- Wounded Warrior Project
I receive a lot of forwarded emails from, what seems like, everyone on God’s green earth about all kinds of junk. Most of the time I just delete them without opening them but there are a few people who send me forwarded emails I always open. Sometimes the emails are worth opening and sometimes they are not. The following info was sent to me last week and I thought it was a good story so I wanted to share it with all nine of you who check out my weekly contribution to The Golfdom Daily.
Regardless of your stance on our country and whatever war or conflict we are taking part in this week, one thing has to be unwavering at all times and that is supporting the troops who defend us, our families and our ability to earn a living working on a golf course, the best job in the world!
Here is the email. It is a little wordy but just stick with me.
On Monday, I played the Disney, Lake Buena Vista course. As usual the starters matched me with three other players. After a few holes we began to get to know each other a bit. One fellow was rather young and had his wife riding along in the golf cart with him. I noticed that his golf bag had his name on it and after closer inspection; it also said "wounded war veterans". When I had my first chance to chat with him I asked him about the bag. His response was simply that it was a gift. I then asked if he was wounded and he said yes. When I asked more about his injury, his response was "I'd rather not talk about it, sir".
Over a few holes I learned that he had spent the last 15 months in an army rehabilitation hospital in San Antonio, Texas. His wife moved there to be with him and he was released from the hospital in September. He was a rather quiet fellow; however, he did say that he wanted to get good at golf. We had a nice round and as we became a bit more familiar I asked him about the brand new set of Ping woods and irons he was playing. Some looked like they had never been hit. His response was simple. He said that this round was the first full round he had played with these clubs.
Later in the round he told me the following. As part of the discharge process from the rehabilitation hospital, Ping comes in and provides three days of golf instruction, followed by club fitting. Upon discharge from the hospital, Ping gives each of the discharged veterans, generally about 40 soldiers, a brand new set of custom fitted clubs along with the impressive golf bags.
The fellow I met was named Ben Woods and he looked me in the eye and said that being fitted for those clubs was one of the best things that ever happened to him and he was determined to learn to play golf well enough to deserve the gift Ping had given him. Ben is now out of the service medically discharged just a month ago. He is as fine a young man as you would ever want to meet.
The story in the email is all good and great but I wanted to know if it was real or just some Ping planted propaganda. It turns out it is real! The program referenced in the email above is referring to Ping being a Gold Sponsor of Disabled Sports USA’s Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project. Men and women severely wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan can participate in one of more than 60 summer long sports rehabilitation programs, one of which is golf. Other golf industry related sponsors include, Tee It Up For The Troops, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club Charitable Foundation and the PGA of America.
I’m probably not passing along anything you weren’t already aware of but for those of you who were not aware of this program I just wanted to pass along what I felt was a good story. For more information on the Wounded War Project visit their website at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Until next week,
-- Matt Hendren