Barstool Sports and 25 Longest Day Golfers Drive Donations to Support Tee It Up for the Troops and Veterans Mental Health

Each year, participants of the Tee It Up for the Troops  Longest Day of Golf at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Minnesota raise pledges from friends and family and tee off at the crack of dawn to golf as many holes as they can in a day. Backs and arms were sore the next day with 1,795 holes of golf played by 25 dedicated individuals during this year’s 2021 Longest Day of Golf for the Troops at Bunker Hills Golf Course on June 11th.

Barstool Sports and Veteran Hereos Tee It Up

New this year, the event welcomed combat veteran and motivational speaker, John Kriesel and Barstool Sports personality and blogger, Uncle Chaps, a Marine and Purple Heart recipient who hosts the military popular podcast “Zero Blog Thirty.”  Kriesel, Chaps, and the rest of the dedicated team members golfed from sunup to sundown, fundraising to assist disabled veterans and their families.

In 2007, Chaps McNealy was a Marine serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Chaps was a bomb-dog handler who focused on clearing IEDs with his four-legged partner, Csika. Chaps was medically retired due to injuries sustained from a gunshot wound and multiple concussions near Fallujah, Iraq. After years of struggling without answers, Chaps says that he finally became proactive in his medical care and sought treatment for PTSD and TBI. “Having PTSD and brain issues doesn’t make one weak,” Chaps says. “Recognizing that you need help and seeking that help makes you strong.” It’s the hidden scars – the mental ones of war – that Chaps is now fighting and trying to bring to light.

Chaps tweeted to his fans to donate.


Chaps, who flew in from San Antonio for the event, has most recently used his social media to send out messages to his fan base to donate funds to our cause at Tee It Up for the Troops. Chaps’ show and Barstool Sports as a whole have been doing this sort of thing for a few years. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy accepted Chaps’ challenge on a previous pledge drive for mental health care for veterans and it matched Chaps’ fundraising efforts which led to a total of over $200K. Chaps and his fans are thrilled to help causes like these in any way they can. 

Watch Chaps and the other veteran heroes and participants in the Longest Day of Golf.

Heroes On and Off the Course

Chaps spent much of the day golfing and raising funds alongside Kriesel and Tim Nelson. Kriesel and Nelson were in the same vehicle on December 2, 2006, when a roadside bomb near Fallujah, Iraq, cost Kriesel his legs, injured Nelson, and killed two fellow soldiers and friends.

Chaps, Kriesel and Nelson. Hereos on and off the golf course!


John Kriesel, a Purple Heart recipient and retired National Guard Staff Sergeant, is currently a Director of Veteran Services in the Twin Cities. He is also a part-time contributor on KFAN Sports Radio and a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Kriesel’s drive and motivation were heightened that day in 2006 when he was nearly blown to shreds by a 200-pound roadside bomb in the parched sands of Iraq. He lost both legs and suffered numerous other major injuries. He is the author of “STILL STANDING: The Story of SSG John Kriesel,” winner of eight national book awards.

Combat veteran and motivational speaker, John Kriesel.


Former National Guard Staff Sergeant, Tim Nelson, who was Kriesel’s roommate and squad leader in Iraq, was in the Humvee seat behind him when it ran over the IED and was also injured. Nelson flew with Kriesel to the military hospital in Balad, Iraq, and held his hand when Kriesel’s survival was in doubt. Nelson received the Purple Heart from this attack.

Minnesota National Guard Sgt. John Kriesel, left, greets Staff Sgt. Tim Nelson after Nelson returned to Camp Douglas, Wis. in 2007. Kriesel and Nelson were in the same vehicle when a roadside bomb blast killed two soldiers and cost Kriesel his legs. (photo courtesy of Twin Cities Pioneer Press)


Dedicated Patriots Participate Each Year

Many other veterans were not as “lucky” as Kriesel, Nelson, Chaps and others. “Those veterans are the reason for the “Longest Day of Golf” and why patriots participate each year knowing their efforts are helping to make a positive difference in the lives of veterans who need it,” said Pat Reis, Tournament Director.

This year’s event reached an all-time high in fundraising. Team “Johnny D” led by John Deedrick, whose family has served in the military in past generations and worked in the defense industry, was the leaderboard winner for fundraising. Robert McGinty’s team conquered the most holes played for the day at 132. Many other devoted Longest Day Golfers reinforced the day’s success. Over the last eight years, the Longest Day of Golf for the Troops at Bunker Hills has raised over $165,000.

Wounds After War

Tee It Up for the Troops is a nonprofit that helps veterans heal from the visible and invisible wounds of war that have impacted veteran and their families. “This is a great organization and a great cause,” Chaps tweeted.  “After getting wounded myself, my close Marine friends were a lifeline. That doesn’t stop after service.” 

Thank you to all who participated and for your efforts to make this event a huge success in support of America’s veterans!


Crystal Springs Golf Resort – Golf Fundraiser for Veterans 

September 3, 2021, will mark the 15th anniversary of the Tee It Up for the Troops Crystal Springs Golf Resort Event in Sussex County, New Jersey. Besides being a commemorative year of the event’s start, it will also be a remembrance of many special veterans lost, including Retired Brigadier General Elie Younes who has a special connection to this military fundraiser.

Meet This Charity Event Team With A Special Mission

Robbie Younes is the Chief Operating Officer at Crystal Springs Golf Resort and a loyal and generous supporter of this military veterans fundraising event held here each year. He is also the son of  Retired Brigadier General Elie Younes who died unexpectedly just three months ago on March 22, 2021. Brigadier General Younes was a Lebanese Army Pilot trained in the United States at Maxwell Air Force Base and a decorated hero to his country and family. As Allies, the United States and Lebanese Armed Forces forge together to confront the dangers threatening us, particularly the danger of terrorism. Brigadier General Younes will be honored at this Tee It Up for the Troops event as an ally who risked his life for freedom.

Robbie Younes, C.O.O., Crystal Springs Golf Resort and proud son of Retired Brigadier General Elie Younes.


Brigadier General Younes’s legacy lives on in his son, Robby, whose dedication and loyalty to our military and veterans is steadfast. Robby is a dynamic, accomplished senior hospitality executive and oversees six properties including two luxury hotels, six golf courses, and multiple food and beverage outlets at Crystal Springs Golf Resort. Younes experienced many hardships in his youth when Lebanon went through a period of turmoil. He came to understand what could be achieved through hard work and ambition.

Robby delivers this same ambition and dedication to helping our American heroes get back on course at this military charity golf tournament. Mediterranean culture and the art of honoring your guests have been passed down through his family for generations and Robby ensures guests have hotel rooms, disabled veterans are catered to and respect is shown to all who served. Robby is proud to support our veterans and active military and we are most fortunate to have him closely connected with this highly successful event.

When reflecting on this year’s military fundraiser that will pay tribute to his father, Robby said, “This golf fundraiser is a major event here at the resort due to my highest respect for the troops and the sacrifices they make. I am the person I am today because of my father who was full of integrity and a fair leader. That is how I run this resort and regard this event.”

There is no better way to bring passion and skill to a charity event than the famous saying “two heads are better than one” Hence, meet Michael Guidice, Event Chair, for the Tee It Up for the Troops Event at Crystal Springs Golf Resort. “As a long-time Vietnam Veteran, I deal with the uncertain effects of PTSD,” Michael explained. “Working to aid others in the same or worse condition helps me with my personal challenges.”


Pictured above is Michael Guidice and his wife, Rosemarie, who lead the organization of this successful event.


When Michael and co-founder, Debby Campbell, fielded their first military fundraising event fifteen years ago, they had 80 players. Now they average 200 players and even during last year’s COVID slowdown they had 170 participants. Tee It Up for the Troops has been successful in its efforts in New Jersey through the efforts of its organizers, sponsors and wonderful, generous participants.

Michael speaking at the Opening Ceremony with the singing group, Harmony In Motion, behind him.



The “ladies in red” singing the National Anthem.


Impactful Military Fundraising Ideas and Support

To raise more funds and awareness over the years for this veteran charity, the committee has added military fundraising ideas such as auctions, raffles, Master’s memorabilia, course games and a unique meet and greet featuring decorated warriors. “If you have a chance to start one of these military fundraisers or get involved, do it! You will be rewarded by meeting our wounded heroes and spending a round of golf with someone who lost part of themselves for our freedom and our flag,” added Michael.

Proceeds from this local charity tournament in Sussex County, NJ will support critical areas of need, including suicide prevention, veteran employment, PTSD and traumatic brain Injury rehabilitation, family and caregiver support, housing and homelessness, golf and sports rehabilitation, and the Tee It Up for the Troops REUNION that reunites combat veterans with their comrades from the battlefield.

One of the veteran’s foursomes.


Hosting a First Class Golf Fundraiser For Veterans

This event is held at Crystal Springs Resort, a spectacular NJ vacation destination, acclaimed as the New York Metro area’s most unique four-season resort. Located in the rolling farmland of the Garden State’s picturesque northwest, this world-class NJ resort is just an hour from New York City.  For more information on this September 3rd event click HERE.

Rest in Peace Retired Brigadier General Elie Younes as we prepare to honor you and your life of military service at this 15th-anniversary charity event. Your son and all the dedicated people associated with this Tee It Up for the Troops event will carry on the mission!