Imperial Headwear Announced as a National Sponsor

We are thrilled to announce that Imperial, voted the #1 headwear brand for all public, private and resort golf facilities by the Association of Golf Merchandisers (AGM), has become a national sponsor for Tee It Up for the Troops.

“Imperial is very proud of its partnership with Tee it Up for the Troops,” said David Shaffer, Senior Vice President of Sales at Imperial. “Doing our part to honor, remember, and support all those who serve(d) in the Armed Forces is something that is very important to us.”

Tee It Up for the Troops is a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting programs that deliver critical services to help veterans from all eras heal and transition from the battlefront to the home front. Tee It Up for the Troops provides support for six critical areas of need for veterans and their families: Golf and Sports Rehabilitation, Suicide Prevention, PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries, Employment, Housing/Homelessness, and Family/Caregiver Support.

Tee It Up for the Troops has hosted over 600 golf events in more than 40 states over the last 17 years, allowing the non-profit organization to donate $12.8 million to military service organizations that provide critically needed services to combat veterans and their families. Our dedicated national sponsors help us achieve this goal.

In addition to sponsoring event headwear, Imperial commits to quarterly donation disbursements to Tee It Up for the Troops with a portion of the proceeds from a branded collection of headwear benefiting the non-profit organization. 

Imperial is a national sponsor of Tee It Up for the Troops, providing headwear for our events and other financial support.
Imperial is a national sponsor of Tee It Up for the Troops, providing headwear for our events and other financial support.

 

“Tee It Up for the Troops is honored to partner with Imperial, a brand with inspiration for trending and customized golf hats,” says Tim Wegscheid, President and Executive Director of Tee It Up for the Troops. “Imperial consistently ‘steps up to the tee’ and stands by our side as we collaborate in support of America’s veterans and military families. Thanks to Imperial for teaming up with us as a national sponsor to provide hats and visors to our many golf event sponsors and supporters across the country!”

Shop Imperial's "Give Back" Collection of Tee It Up for the Troops hats and part of your purchase will help veterans!
Discover the “Give Back” collection of Imperial Tee It Up for troops hats and part of your purchase will help veterans!

 

Shop for Tee It Up for the Troops headwear HERE and a portion of all proceeds will go to Tee It Up for the Troops and their pursuit of helping veterans heal!

About Tee It Up for the Troops

Tee It Up for the Troops, Inc, is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves U.S. military veterans and their families.  Established in 2005, Tee It Up for the Troops has hosted over 600 events in over 40 states and has donated $12.8 million to partnering organizations serving veterans across the country.  In addition, through their REUNION initiative, Tee It Up for the Troops has reunited more than 300 combat altered veterans who were separated due to battlefield injuries or changes in rehabilitation status.  For more information visit: Tee It Up for the Troops.

About Imperial Headwear

Founded in 1916, Imperial Headwear is the leading manufacturer of premium quality headwear, apparel, and accessories for the golf market. Imperial’s products can be found at 97 of the Top 100 and over 70% of the Top 400 golf courses in the United States. Imperial is committed to style, functionality, and perfection in fit and comfort. It is this commitment that has allowed the creation of a wide variety of headwear and apparel with quality that is second to none. Renowned for its superior customer service and art customization capabilities, Imperial offers its products using the most innovative fabrics and designs, as well as logo decoration and embellishment technologies. For more information, visit:  Imperial.

Media Contacts:

Theresa Johnson 
Tee It Up for the Troops 
Communications Specialist
theresa@teeitupforthetroops.org. 

Tori Cole 
Imperial Sports
Marketing Manager
Tcole@Imperialsports.com

 

 

                                                                                  

Congressional Medal of Honor Society Golf Event will take place on May 2, 2022

Tee It Up for the Troops is proud to announce its inaugural golf event on the Outlaw Course at the Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale,  benefiting both Tee It Up for the Troops and the  Congressional Medal of Honor Society and its Foundation. The event will take place on May 2, 2022.  This event will honor all U.S. Military service members and support all those who have been wounded and injured in the defense of our nation’s freedoms.

We are extremely honored that five Medal of Honor recipients will be on-site for this event! Each foursome in this event will be joined by a Medal of Honor recipient or a local combat-wounded veteran.

“Desert Mountain is privileged to host this outstanding event,” said John Lyberger, PGA Director of Golf. “Our members deeply appreciate the tremendous sacrifice our veterans have made for our country and feel extremely fortunate to support this cause. We are looking forward to a great day and wonderful event.”

We are pleased to announce that this inaugural event has now SOLD OUT in less than 30 days!  However, if you would still like to help improve the lives of those who selflessly served to protect our liberties, please click HERE.  

The Society’s membership is comprised of those who wear the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military award for valor. Through the Society's Outreach, Education and History initiatives, the Medal of Honor Recipients continue their service across the nation.
The Society’s membership is comprised of those who wear the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military award for valor.

More About The Congressional Medal of Honor Society and Foundation

The Society and Foundation rely solely on private philanthropy – gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations – and receive no government funding. The Foundation is a 4-Star Rated Charity as rated by Charity Navigator.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is the only organization chartered by Congress to support Recipients. Although the Medal of Honor traces its origins back to 1861, it wasn’t until 1958 that Congress and President Eisenhower chartered a specific organization to address the work and well-being of Recipients.

 

An Honor to Partner with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society of the United States

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.

Tee It Up for the Troops is proud of a growing partnership with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Our partnership allows us to make an impact across all sectors, military and civilian, ultimately helping bring greater awareness to the issues of active duty and veteran suicide.

About The Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Since its origins in 1891, only 3,511 people have been awarded the medal, and there is currently only 66 living Medal of Honor Recipients.

The Medal of Honor is normally awarded by the President of the United States

About The Congressional Medal of Honor Society 

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is perhaps the most exclusive organization in our country so it’s an honor to partner with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.  Its small membership knows no boundaries of ethnicity, social, or economic levels. Members range in age from 31 to 97 and live across our country. No amount of money, power, or influence can buy one’s rite of passage into this exclusive circle, and unlike almost any other organization, this group’s members hope that there will be no more inductees.

Additionally, every year, the Society conducts a nationwide search to select five United States citizens and one organization to receive the Citizen Honors Awards to recognize that ordinary people can do extraordinary things– whether they happen in a single instance of bravery or through continued service to others.  The finalists are selected by the recipients themselves.  They believe ordinary people can do extraordinary things – whether it’s a single act of bravery or community service.

Medal of Honor Recipients

Today, Medal of Honor Recipients are meeting in classrooms and boardrooms with veterans and neighbors, to uphold American values of courage, sacrifice, commitment, integrity, citizenship, and patriotism. They are sharing their experiences of valor and resilience to inspire the next generation of heroes: people doing extraordinary things every day in our hometowns. They are honoring and preserving the lessons and legacies of those who have gone before them.

A Partnership To Help Our Nations Veterans

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society relies solely on private philanthropy – gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations – and receives no government funding. Tee It Up for the Troops was honored to present a grant to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society in 2021 to help them address veterans’ wellness and resiliency.  What an honor to partner with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

“Tee It Up for the Troops has a superb reputation of philanthropy and of helping so many veteran and military nonprofits, especially in this time of uncertainty and competing resources,” explained retired Army Lt. Col. John Falkenbury, executive vice president for the Society, “Many Medal of Honor Recipients have fond memories of taking part in previous events and are now excited to team up with Tee It Up for the Troops.  Two great organizations working to help our fellow veterans and first responders. – it does not get any better”

Veterans of all wars and combat face challenges. However, the more than two million service members in the global war on terrorism waged primarily in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, experience significant and unique challenges resulting from their multiple, frequent deployments.

In a 2019 New York Times article, Carol Giacomo noted, “Suicide rates for active-duty service members and veterans are rising, in part, experts say, because a culture of toughness and self-sufficiency may discourage service members in distress from getting the assistance they need.” With the added challenges resulting from COVID-19 health and safety protocols, resiliency and positive mental health approaches are even more important.

An Honor to Partner with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society

“We are honored and grateful to partner with one of the most prestigious organizations in the United States,” says Tim Wegscheid, President & Executive Director of Tee It Up for the Troops.  “The Congressional Medal of Honor Society and Tee It Up for the Troops share a strong commitment to our nation’s veterans. We look forward to a deepening relationship as both our organizations look for the best ways to support service members, veterans, and their families when they are struggling with invisible wounds of war.”

$12.8 Million In Charitable Donations Reached

As part of the Tee It Up for the Troops mission, we honor, remember, respect, and support our nation’s military veterans and their families. We accomplish this by raising charitable donations and awareness through our golf events across the country which support six core pillars of critical need as identified in the graphic below.

Tee It Up for the Troops Pillars of Support
Tee It Up for the Troops Pillars of Support

 

We are honored to announce over a half-million dollars in grants for our 2021 national grant recipients! Each year, through our golf fundraising platform and the support of over 750 volunteers nationwide, Tee It Up for the Troops awards grants to non-profit organizations that provide services to our warriors and their families in critical areas of need.
 
In 2021, Tee It Up for the Troops granted nearly $1.1 million in total, which launched us over $12.8 million in charitable donations since 2005 to national and local organizations to directly assist combat veterans and their families. Due to these achievements, we are honored to announce over a half-million dollars in grants to our 2021 national grant recipients! Thank you to every single supporter, volunteer, and event leader for making this happen!
 

2021 Grant Partners Announced 

Tee It Up for the Troops is a “Force Multiplier” with a larger impact across the nation by working with many highly recognized veteran support organizations. We are honored to announce our 2021 Non-Profit Partners that received grants from Tee It Up for the Troops!

Family & Caregiver Support

Blue Star Families

Project Sanctuary

Hope for the Warriors

Fallen Heroes Family Camp

Gold Star Teen Adventures

Salute, Inc.

Angels of America’s Fallen

Golf & Sports Rehabilitation

Move United

Salute Military Golf Association

Bunkers in Baghdad

North Texas Warrior Golf Association

 Suicide Prevention

K9’s for Warriors

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society of the United States

Sheep Dog Impact Assistance

Stack Up

Working Dogs for Vets

 Housing & Homelessness

Fisher House Foundation

Purple Heart Homes

 Employment

Combat Veterans to Careers

On Course Foundation

The COMMIT Foundation

PTSD & Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment

CreatiVets

Defenders of Freedom

The Warrior’s Journey

We jointly share a common vision with all 24 of these great non-profit organizations to assist military veterans, active-duty service members, and their families with a broad range of services.

Despite the ongoing challenges over the past two years, Tee It Up for the Troops was blessed to raise more funding in 2021 than we did in 2019, pre-pandemic! This generous support allows us to do even more to help combat veterans get back on course!

Along with our financial support and collaboration with these non-profit partners, we can make a greater impact across our nation for veterans and their families. At Tee It Up for the Troops, we strive to be a high-impact nonprofit that works with and through other veteran support organizations to create more impact than each of us could alone!

Learn more about Tee It Up for the Troops here.

 

 

 

 

Sponsor Combat Veteran Outreach

Thank you to these sponsors!

Thank you to all our wonderful 10th Anniversary REUNION sponsors that made this combat veteran outreach event possible from January 13-17, 2022 at Reunion Resort in Florida!

About This Combat Veteran Outreach Event

Each year Tee It Up for the Troops hosts REUNION, a combat veteran outreach initiative to reunite battle buddies who have been separated due to reasons beyond their control. Through REUNION, participants not only reconnect with those they trust most, but also experience healing, and develop new relationships and support networks to help with their ongoing transition from battlefield to homefront.

Warriors re-connecting!
Warriors re-connecting!

Why Sponsorship Is Important

It is through the participation and support of sponsors and private parties that combat veterans experienced the healing of REUNION with their battle buddies. The cost for a warrior and their caregiver to attend this event is $1,500 and sponsorships help warriors and caregivers experience the benefits of REUNION. Sponsorship gives our combat veterans time together to discuss their post-military struggles, see their comrades in a supportive environment, and share tactics to help them survive and thrive at home. Sponsors also make it possible to bring together caregivers for peer support with the goal of increasing their hopefulness, skills, and knowledge. REUNION also provides access for veterans and caregivers to partner organizations’ resources.

Warriors and Caregivers Meet and Greet.
Warriors and Caregivers Meet and Greet.

How Do Sponsors Benefit?

Meanwhile, REUNION sponsors enjoyed time interacting with combat veterans and playing signature golf courses designed by three of golf’s greatest legends: Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, and Arnold Palmer. Our sponsorship packages offered many businesses, foundations, and foursomes an opportunity to gain exposure as outstanding supporters of combat veterans and their caregivers. Learn more about how your company can get involved with sponsorship:  https://teeitupforthetroops.org/reunion-for-sponsors/

Sponsors enjoy time interacting with combat veterans and playing golf on signature courses.
Sponsors enjoy time interacting with combat veterans and playing golf on signature courses.

The Impact of Combat Veteran Outreach

Perhaps the impact of REUNION and combat veteran outreach can be better explained and felt by this video from the 2022 REUNION.  See for yourself the hope and healing this event brings to America’s veterans!

Thank you again for your support of combat veteran outreach and REUNION 2022! Together, we are making a difference for all those who serve(d)!

 

Trustone Financial Supports Veterans

To support Veterans during November, TruStone Financial Credit Union employees raised more than $1,000 for Tee It Up for the Troops with its Casual for a Cause fundraiser and the TruStone Financial Foundation contributed an additional $5,000. This company-wide fundraiser gives employees the opportunity to wear jeans in exchange for a donation to a designated charity. 

About Tee It Up for the Troops

Tee It Up for the Troops is a national non-profit organization, headquartered in Minnesota, supporting programs that deliver critically needed services to help Veterans transition from the battlefront to the home front. Tee It Up for the Troops focuses on six core pillars that positively impact Veterans including PTSD support, Employment, Suicide Prevention, and Sports Rehabilitation. To learn more, visit  https://teeitupforthetroops.org/ 

“We are honored to receive such a generous donation from TruStone – especially during National Veterans and Military Families Month – to help support our mission and America’s veterans,” says Tim Wegscheid, President and Executive Director of Tee It Up for the Troops.

“We strive to make a direct impact in our communities,” says TruStone Financial Foundation Chairman, Sam Stern. “The employee contributions, along with the donation from the TruStone Financial Foundation, will bring well-deserved support to the Veterans who need it most.”

(Left to Right) Sam Stern, TruStone Financial Foundation Chairman and Steve Steen, Chief Business Officer of TruStone Financial, presented the $6,177 donation check to Patrick Nelson, U.S. Veteran and Tim Wegscheid, President and Executive Director of Tee It Up for the Troops.
(Left to Right) Sam Stern, TruStone Financial Foundation Chairman and Steve Steen, Chief Business Officer of TruStone Financial, presented the $6,177 donation check to Patrick Nelson, U.S. Veteran and Tim Wegscheid, President and Executive Director of Tee It Up for the Troops.

 

About TruStone Financial

TruStone Financial is a full-service credit union that has worked to improve the financial well-being of its neighbors since 1939. Having been founded as a teachers’ credit union, education is driven into the mission. It has 23 branches across Minnesota and Wisconsin and is Minnesota’s second largest credit union, with assets of almost $4 billion as of October 31, 2021 and a mortgage servicing portfolio of more than $2 billion. TruStone was named one of 100 top-performing U.S. Credit Unions in 2020 by S&P Global Market Intelligence and ranked as a top five Best-In-State credit union by Forbes magazine in 2021. To learn more, visit TruStone.org.

About the TruStone Financial Foundation

The TruStone Financial Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2009 by TruStone Financial Credit Union. The TruStone Financial Foundation primarily supports financial education and programs through scholarships and outreach, while also engaging in general charitable giving in the communities served by the credit union. Learn more about the TruStone Financial Foundation at TruStoneFoundation.org.

Learn more about how your company can Support Veterans and Tee It Up for the Troops at  https://teeitupforthetroops.org/donate/

 

 

 

Support Wounded Veterans Like Derek Goodridge

Derek Goodridge, Wounded Veteran and Ambassador for Tee It Up for the Troops

Introducing Derek Goodridge – Wounded Veteran and Ambassador for Tee It Up for the Troops

Help support veterans like Derek Goodridge. Derek served in the US Marine Corps for 6 years deploying to Cuba, Jordan, Bahrain, Africa, Oman, Afghanistan. While deployed in Afghanistan as security for the EOD behind him, Derek was severely injured from a blast leaving him with no right arm, screws in his shoulder, a rod from hip to knee in his right leg, and 35 surgeries (and counting). Today, Derek is an avid golfer, veteran and wounded warrior ambassador for Tee It Up for the Troops golf events.

Wounded veteran Derek Goodridge golfing at a Tee It Up for the Troops event.
Derek Goodridge, outshooting everyone in his Tee It Up for the Troops golf group!

 

How You Can Help Support Wounded Veterans

Show your support for wounded veterans like Derek to help them get back on course! Your gift will assist veterans who are struggling with physical injuries and invisible wounds like depression and suicide.

To donate, visit: http://teeitupforthetroops.org/donate-now/.

Make a Donation in Honor of Someone

A son of a WW II Veteran recently shared with us that gratitude and understanding helped him resolve feelings about his Father. 

“I made an end-of-year charitable donation to Tee It Up for the Troops as a way to honor my Father, a WW II Veteran. My Dad, like so many current and former combat veterans, lived his life with the wounds of PTSD. I regret it took me far too long to accept and recognize the challenges my Dad faced throughout his life due to his experiences in battle. Writing a check is nothing compared to the price he and others paid for our country and our freedom,” Wayne Beacham, Proud son of Charles Beacham, Corporal, US Army, World War II.

Charles Beacham, a Veteran of World War II's Battle of the Bulge.
Charles Beacham, a Veteran of World War II’s Battle of the Bulge.

 

Donate before January 1 and Qualify for a Meaningful 2021 Tax Deduction! 

As the end of the year approaches, we hope we can count on you to support Tee It Up for the Troops and military families. Especially during these difficult times, we hope you will donate now and help us fight for those who fought for us!

If you are looking to support a cause that is near and dear to our military and veterans, you can make a charitable gift to Tee It Up for the Troops and claim a meaningful tax deduction for 2021. Here are 3 easy ways to give:

Thank you for your consideration and support!

 

 

 

Celebrating Milestones From Coast to Coast!

You may know a bit about the story of Tee It Up for the Troops from being involved in a tournament or two. However, you probably aren’t as aware of each event thread that has been carefully planned to create the tapestry of charity golf events that is seen across the country today. Tee It Up for the Troops is celebrating continuous growth with golf events held in over 40 states across this great nation since our inception. We are on a mission to fill the map of the United States by creating an event in every state!

2021 Event Anniversaries

This year marks numerous 15, 10, and 5 year anniversaries for many of our Tee It Up for the Troops golf events. From the West Coast to the East Coast and a sundry of points in between, commemorative events are being shared within their communities in 2021. Our dedicated event leaders, volunteers, golf club staff, and sponsors have been working hard to change the lives of veterans and their families by organizing amazingly successful, patriotic charity golf outings – year, after year, after year.

Congratulations to these Tee It Up for the Troops events for reaching major milestones, and more importantly, for your ongoing dedication to honor, respect, remember and support the brave men and women of the US Military:

Crystal Springs Golf Resort, Sussex County, NJ – 15 years

Oak Marsh Golf Club, Oakdale, MN – 15 years

Willow Creek Golf Club, Rochester, MN – 15 years

SeaCliff Country Club, Huntington Beach, CA – 10 years

Brackett’s Crossing Country Club, Lakeville, MN – 10 years

Mankato Golf Club, Mankato, MN – 10 years

Dan McCarthy Golf Outing, Kalamazoo, MI – 10 years

Wanakah Country Club, Buffalo, NY – 5 years

Golden Valley Country Club, Golden Valley, MN – 5 years

Dataw Island Golf Club, Beaufort, SC – 5 years

A Thank You From Our President

“These event anniversaries across the nation show a strong track record of dedication and service to our military,” said Tim Wegscheid President and Executive Director, Tee It Up for the Troops. “We want to take this opportunity to thank the communities, golf clubs, armies of volunteers, and generous sponsors for supporting our mission from coast to coast. You are making a positive difference in the lives of military veterans and their families!”

Celebrating Commitment to Veterans and Families

Each of our Tee It Up for the Troops events are put together by a committed leader, loyal volunteers, and dedicated sponsors. Our charity events are both patriotic and fun. Both volunteers and players enjoy themselves during the event while knowing they are doing important fundraising to serve combat veterans and their families.

We look forward to adding to the rich tapestry of charity events across our nation for 15 more years!! Let’s celebrate the continuing journey and carry on the storytelling of our brave military men and women as we “step up to the tee” to support our American Heroes.

Help Us Fill The Map And Honor Our Veterans!

If you or someone you may know would like to honor our veterans, fundraise for a wonderful cause and start a Tee It Up for the Troops event in any part of the country, please visit Start An Event. 

 

 

 

 

First Time Tee it up for the Troops’ Olympic Hills Charity Golf Event Takes Place on Flag Day

Flag Day is a special day that takes place on June 14, which commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States. June 14, 2021, was also a special day in Eden Prairie, Minnesota when the Olympic Hills Golf Course hosted its first Tee It Up for the Troops fundraising event honoring American military veterans.

Board Chair of Tee It Up for the Troops, Tom Groom, and his wife, Heidi, spearheaded the inaugural charity golf tournament. Tom, Heidi, and their committee of volunteers surpassed all goals set for the special day of golf on Flag Day in honor of veterans and their families.

 

 Veterans continue to deal with PTSD, thoughts of suicide, and other invisible wounds of war.  We are 100% committed to continuing the mission to provide our American Heroes with as much support as they deserve,” said Tom. “We are deeply grateful for the service of the military personnel and their families, and we are thankful for all the sponsors and supporters that came out to make this such a successful event.”  

Board Chair of Tee It Up for the Troops, Tom Groom, and his wife, Heidi, spearheaded the Olympic Hills charity golf event.

 

 Say A Fallen Soldier’s Name 

A patriotic opening ceremony kicked off the event complete with T-6 Thunder planes performing a flyover. Veterans and Gold Star Families were honored during the ceremony. A Gold Star Family has lost an immediate family member in the line of duty of military service. Ceremonies like this give a chance for fallen soldiers’ legacy to live when their names are spoken and remembered.

 Brothers in Arms Surprise Connection

Andrew Bachelder, a USMC veteran who was injured in a Huey helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2009, was the guest speaker for the opening ceremony. Bachelder, a five-time participant in former President George W. Bush’s Warrior Open, came all the way from Fort Worth, Texas for the event.

    USMC Veteran Andrew Bachelder – Keynote Speaker.

 

Right before Andrew spoke, the Gold Star families were introduced. As the event MC began to honor the first fallen warrior and his family, Andrew heard the words “… Fallujah, Iraq… April 4th, 2004. “My ears perked up and my attention was definitely keener of what was coming next because I was there that day,” said Andrew. “Then the MC read off CPL. Tyler Fey’s name and I almost fainted. I was in his platoon and we were together the night that he was killed.” Andrew, event coordinators, and the families being honored did not know that these two warriors, with an important and emotional connection, would cross paths this day.

When Tyler’s name was called, I was in shock and couldn’t think of anything other than his father who was sitting in the first row right in front of me,” Andrew said. “I had never met Tyler’s parents. I was overwhelmed with joy that I could make this connection and I know Mr. Fey was very moved as well. I know it can be healing and heartfelt for families of lost loved ones when you see one of your sons‘ brothers in arms.” Like a true soldier, Andrew was able to pull himself together from this revelation and shock and deliver a powerful message to the audience.  Following his speech, Andrew and Mr. Fey shared a very emotional hug and greeting. A seemingly chance encounter that had great meaning for one Gold Star father and one warrior. Tee It Up for the Troops is proud it can help paths like these cross for purpose.

An emotional connection. Andrew and Mr. Fey share a hug.

 

Players Tee Off and Raise Funds

There was great energy and fun once the players hit the golf course. Thanks to the generous support of corporate and individual sponsorship, wounded warriors get a chance to golf at these events.  Here is what one warrior said about his experience at the Olympic Hills Charity Golf Event:

“I just got home from one of the most amazing events I have ever been a part of! I had so much fun and I was with the most amazing group of guys! I learned so much from them and their support for the troops and Tee It Up for the Troops was amazing!! It’s been a while since I felt like a real person, being able to step out of my comfort zone and enjoy life and sports once again! I can’t wait to be a part of the next event! Thank you so much for thinking of me!”

The Tee It Up for the Troops Olympic Hills charity event raised money and awareness for combat veterans. Proceeds from the golf event will benefit the REUNION program which reunites wounded and injured service members who have been separated due to battlefield injuries or other reasons beyond their control.

Forty-seven percent of all post 9-11 veterans say it was difficult to transition back to civilian life. As a result of diagnosed PTSD, veterans have challenges with financial stability, problems with adequate medical care, and struggles with alcohol or drugs.

Through the Tee It Up for the Troops REUNION, participating veterans and their caregivers can enhance their transition process into civilian lifestyles and enjoy therapeutic time on the golf course and participate in some educational, healing breakout sessions.

Get Involved and Make a Difference

Thank you to the Olympic Hills Golf Club members, staff, sponsors, and all the volunteers who made this an amazing charity event. Tom and Heidi Groom hosted one incredible event!

 

If you or someone you may know would like to honor our veterans, fundraise for a wonderful cause and start a Tee It Up for the Troops event on Flag Day or any day of the year, please visit Start An Event. 

Your support for our American heroes helps them get back on course and gives them the best chance of success once they’ve come home!

 

 

 

 

Post-9/11 Veterans Share Their Powerful Story of How They Reconnect With Each Other and Their Lives at Tee It Up for the Troops REUNION Event

The 9/11 attacks prompted the U.S. to declare a global “War on Terror” on September 20, 2001. Many patriots were prepared to serve and defend their country and their fellow Americans, no matter the risk. Two of those patriots, John Wilson and Ben Ransom, share their moving story of how a few days at Tee It Up for the Troops REUNION changed and shaped their future.

John Wilson, US Marine Corps

John Wilson joined the Marine Corps before 9/11 in 1999.  As John puts it, “I was going nowhere in life.” John’s little brother was looking to join the military and his dad said he should join the Marine Corps too. “I can’t let my little brother do something I can’t do so I joined up,” said John.  Both brothers were stationed at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan, where they linked up for the next year.

Ben Ranson, US Marine Corps

Ben’s older brother joined the service in 1999 and was in the Marine Corps Air Wing.  Ben took this as a challenge and decided to do a “harder job” and joined the Marine Corps Infantry Division in 2001.  Ben and his brother were also both stationed in Okinawa, Japan.  However, Ben arrived just two weeks after his brother departed the country. Ben spent a year in Okinawa as his last peacetime deployment before Iraq.

It would not be their bloodline brothers these two men would find themselves with during the fight of their life, but each other.  

Brothers in Service  

Both John and Ben found themselves back in the United States at Twentynine Palms, California, for buildup and deployment to Iraq. John had left the service in 2003, however, he volunteered to be recalled to active duty under a Presidential recall in 2004.   As a Scout Team Leader, John was placed in the same active-duty unit, the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, as Ben. Together they went through all the pre-deployment training in preparation for Iraq. 

Ben and John deployed only one time together to Iraq from June to November 2004, yet their time together will last a lifetime. During these five months, they fought together in Fallujah, Iraq during Operation Phantom Fury in one of the biggest urban battles since Hue City Vietnam.

Marines Ben Williams and John Wilson, both Purple Heart recipients.

 

Firefight with the Enemy  

On November 15, 2004, Ben & John’s unit was conducting a foot patrol in a small town near the Euphrates Peninsula just outside of Fallujah. On the way back to their vehicles, they found themselves in the heart of the action, taking fire and rocket-propelled grenades (RPG’s) from all directions. They immediately requested permission to assault. Ben yelled out, “I see them, I see them.” Regrettably, during the intense firefight and confusion, a misjudgment was made. The Marines moved down an alleyway that had six-foot walls on each side and no way out. That is when they got ambushed.  John took one shot in the calf. Ben sustained five rounds including to his thigh, through his flak jacket, foot, buttocks, and one that grazed his hip. With adrenaline rushing, all they could do was tell Ben to play dead and stop moving until there was a lull in the fire. While lying there, Ben got shot in the foot and decided his best chance at survival was to try crawling to the corner and get back to his fellow soldiers. While still under heavy fire, his comrades were able to pull Ben to a side of a building and check out his injuries. Ultimately, they were all removed from the firefight by a light armored vehicle.

Both Marines were ground medevaced back to Al Taqaddum Air Base in Iraq, where they rapidly parted ways. Ben was flown by Black Hawk helicopter to a mobile surgical hospital where he underwent his first surgery.  He was then flown to Germany for more surgeries before being sent to San Diego to recover. John stayed at the base medical unit recuperating until the end of the month. He then met up with his unit and finished out his deployment until he was honorably discharged in 2005.

John Wilson in Iraq.
Roadside scene near Fallujah, Iraq.

 

Battle Brothers on a Mission to Reunite

The two battle-brothers, who had not seen each other or spoken in person for 10 years, were on a path to be part of the Tee It Up for the Troops REUNION outreach program – a mission to reunite combat veterans and use their common bonds to work through post-military struggles after combat action.

Since the early years of the war on terrorism, Tee It Up for the Troops has been helping post-9/11 military veterans, and veterans from all other conflicts, and their families through the REUNION outreach program. The REUNION program reunites wounded and injured service members who have been separated due to battlefield injuries or other reasons beyond their control. Through these reunions, participating veterans and their caregivers can enhance their transition process into civilian lifestyles and enjoy therapeutic time on the golf course and participate in some educational, healing breakout sessions.

REUNION Outreach Program – Finding Each Other and Themselves 

“Ben is the only battle buddy I tried to stay in contact with,” said John. “When I had the opportunity to attend REUNION in 2016, I was like ‘WOW’…this would be pretty cool to see how he’s doing in person.”

 “When I got the call from John about attending REUNION, I was pretty shocked,” Ben said.  “Because some of my injuries were bone and nerve-related, I was on pain medication for the better part of a decade, and I was getting very discouraged. I had withdrawn from a lot of things and hadn’t had a lot of people, especially Marines, to talk to. I was also going through my second divorce at the time. It was a big morale booster to have John reach out to me about REUNION.” 

In January 2016, at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Florida, Ben and John finally got a chance to see each other again at the REUNION Event, after the traumatic firefight 10 years earlier and the quick evacuation that took them in different directions for recovery and life after war.

With life in disarray, Ben came to REUNION very introverted and guarded. “Being at REUNION, made me realize that my isolation was self-imposed,” said Ben. “If I put out a little effort to connect with others, I could find a few resources to help with coping that were healthier than the ways I had chosen. REUNION was enormously beneficial.”

John added, “Seeing Ben at REUNION was super emotional for me. It was an extremely positive experience for both of us.”  Both veterans will tell you that there is a certain level of comfort and familiarity being back with someone at REUNION that you shared a life-altering experience with.   

Ben and John reunite in person at REUNION after not seeing each other for 10 years.

 

REUNION Changes Lives

After REUNION and getting off controlled pain medication, Ben had an inspiring transformation. He describes it as a “domino effect.” He was able to file for and be awarded custody of his youngest daughter, Serena, 10, who now lives with him in the state of Washington. Ben enrolled in college computer information system courses and now has a job providing IT services and accounting for a livestock auction business.

Before REUNION, John went through months in a downward spiral where he was drinking heavily. It took a family friend taking him to dinner and intervening for John to see a therapist.  His friend paid for ten therapy sessions and went with him to the first one. Now, John pays it forward and tells other vets to see and talk to a therapist. Through this process, he learned about Tee It Up for the Troops and the REUNION outreach program.  Since 2007, John has been performing executive protection for Microsoft Corporation.  He currently lives in Washington state with his wife Shannon, and two sons, Benjamin, 10, and Aiden, 8.

Now living in the same area, these brothers in arms meet up every few months and stay connected by messaging and Zoom. Due to the type of bonds and experiences they built while serving in the military, and reuniting at REUNION, they now realize that being connected is an essential quality of life marker.

Ben Ranson, Patrick Zeigler, Tom Groom and John Wilson spend some therapeutic time on the golf course at REUNION.

 

Show Veterans You Will Not Forget!

Frustrated with the line, “We will never forget,” Ben’s experience once he returned home from Iraq, was that people did forget all the veterans who risked everything.  “Being at REUNION showed me that there are a lot of dedicated people actively spending enormous amounts of time and resources to help you reconnect and help with PTSD and other situations caused by war. It was just huge in my overall recovery.”

2022 will mark the 10th Anniversary of the first REUNION outreach program held by Tee It Up for the Troops. The organization plans on commemorating the event by hosting a “Reunion of REUNIONS” and bringing together battle buddies again like Ben and John to continue their journey to recovery.

Tee It Up for the Troops relies on corporate sponsors and golfers to assist us in reuniting combat veterans and to help them transition from the battlefront to the home front. This includes help for the hidden wounds of war like anxiety, depression, isolation, and suicide. 

Our sponsorship packages offer businesses, foundations, and foursomes an opportunity to gain exposure as outstanding supporters of combat veterans and their caregivers. We have developed sponsorships for differing budgets and commitment levels. You can also contact us to see if we can create a specialized sponsorship opportunity for you!  Learn more about REUNION Sponsorship Opportunities.

Your Sponsorship Gets Veterans Back on Course!!