Pinnacle Peak Country Club hosted the 5th Annual Tee It Up for the Troopsevent on February 25th to pay tribute and to raise funds to support all present and past members of America’s armed forces and their families. Our Members displayed unwavering support for Tee It Up for the Troops as golfers took to the links to raise money for those who have been wounded in battle and to show their appreciation for the troops.
Each foursome was accompanied by a wounded warrior or active duty military service member. Our golf event combined with an inspirational ceremony and gala dinner are steeped in tradition at Pinnacle Peak Country Club instilling a sense of pride, honor, respect and appreciation for those who have protected our liberties and the freedoms we all cherish.
This year with your support we donated $73,541.93 to Tee It Up for the Troops. This is an amazing feat! The total amount that Pinnacle Peak Country Club has raised for Tee It Up for the Troops in five years is $256,168.45. We are awed by the dedication of our Membership. Our commitment to support those who protect us delivers a heartfelt sense of fulfillment. Together we made a difference in their lives by standing together to help veterans transition, grow, thrive and live!
Tee It Up for the Troops proudly hosted its 4th annual “REUNION” outreach initiative in January at Reunion Resort in Orlando. This event, which has continued to grow every year, combines beautiful surroundings with a wonderful group of people gathered together to support a critical cause.
This year’s event featured:
34 invited warriors
17 warriors invited by key partners
16 other veterans
21 supportive caregivers
One 99 year old World War II veteran
One 93 year old World War II veteran
One original member of the world renowned recording group, the Commodores – Thomas McClary (below)
The concept of this unique Reunion program is to reunite wounded, ill or injured service members who had been separated due to battlefield injuries, changes in rehabilitation status, or for other reasons beyond their control. The objective is that through these reunions, participating veterans can dramatically enhance their reintegration process into productive and fulfilling civilian lifestyles.
Hosted in a secure and supportive environment, and staged around the rehabilitative aspects of the game of golf, participants at Reunion can not only reconnect with those who are most trusted, but also develop new relationships and support networks to help them “heal, transition, grow, and thrive.” Throughout Reunion, these combat altered warriors enjoy therapeutic time on the golf course and also participate in a variety of helpful sessions to support a healthy lifestyle.
Reunion Resort offered the perfect setting to reunite this diverse group of warriors from all across the country. Together, they were able to discuss and identify some important areas of care, and also address those areas that are still unmet.
We also hosted productive breakout sessions with all attending caregivers which provided valuable insight into many of the key challenges that they face on a daily basis. Many ideas were shared on various ways to bond, strengthen themselves and their warriors, and support each other as this group continues to fight a very different kind of battle.
In addition, key partners including Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, Fisher House Foundation, Disabled Sports USA/Warfighter Sports, Hope for the Warriors, and Troops First also reunited for productive dialogue on how we can more effectively assist each other to better serve our respective missions.
Many additional sponsors and private parties also came together as a family to enjoy one of this country’s finest freedoms – the incredible game of golf!
All of these various groups joined together at this Reunion event to support our military families and our Tee It Up for the Troops mission. A survey conducted following the event provided some valuable insight into the effectiveness of the Reunion concept:
Respondents reported a 31% reduction in their level of stress after attending Reunion
Respondents reported a 25% increase in their feelings of “hopefulness” after attending Reunion
Respondents reported a 41% increase in “feeling connected” after attending Reunion
Needless to say, we were very pleased to see those encouraging results! Below you will also find some direct warrior quotes that help remind us of the many fun activities and positive results from this Reunion week.
We look forward to reuniting with many of you again next year and sharing the Reunion experience with many newcomers!
“… it was really great to see the camaraderie, some relationships formed and others strengthened, and healing happening in front of you. It is clear that once again this event will make a difference in the lives of those who attended, their families and others in their lives.”
“I don’t think words could ever express how much this year and last year affected my life and my marriage. I believe lives and marriages (were) changed this weekend.”
“I departed with a profound sense of comfort that Tee It Up for the Troops is one of the best organizations supporting military veterans that I have been associated with in my over 30 years of service and working for veterans causes.”
“Dealing with my team leaders death had me thinking suicide. Going to (this) event saved my life. I cannot say thank you enough.”
“I want to personally thank you for your love and commitment to veterans. The fact that (my son and his battle buddy) were included and able to reunite made me cry with joy.”
“Reunion 2015 was an amazing experience… I was witness to the great impact it had on all who attended. Re-connecting with friends and family is very important and a major help in recovery.”
“It was a honor for us to attend! Thank you and to all of the people involved that made this possible. Dad talks about it every day.”
“This event feels like a first class family reunion. I cherish the ability to see all the familiar faces and to meet wonderful new ones. Tee It Up genuinely cares and it shows big time.”
The following article provided by Camp Soaring Eagle in Cornville, Arizona is one of the many organizations Tee It Up for the Troops works with to help and support disabled veteran’s families. We recently made a donation and received this great article for the folks at Camp Soaring Eagle.
When Aaron gripped the end of the arrow and drew back the bow no one could have suspected that it was his first time at an archery course. But for Aaron, who has autism, the Bull’s-Eye he shot propelled him beyond his disorder and amazed the counselors and his friends. Aaron and his parents were participating in the inaugural camping weekend for Arizona’s Veteran’s kids, November 7 -9th at Camp Soaring Eagle in Cornville that was sponsored in large part by Tee It Up For The Troops.
The Bull’s Eye was just one of many “firsts” for Aaron that weekend. He caught his first fish and volunteered to sing Wings of an Eagle on stage during the talent show. His father, an airman stationed at Luke Air Force Base, Glendale, AZ said, “This has been a great experience for my son. Heck, I didn’t even know he liked fishing! We are so grateful to those who made this camping experience possible for our son and for all the other military dependent children here this weekend. There are no other resources like this available that I know of for military kids.”
Thanks to the financial contribution from Tee It Up for the Troops, twenty-six children whose parents serve in the Army, Air Force, and the National Guard/ Reserve came together for a fun-filled weekend with other kids facing the same issues unique to military dependent children. During the camping weekend, these kids found solace in the realization that they weren’t alone in their struggles and that there are other kids who understand what they are going through.
Recent studies by Child Trends, a nonprofit research center, found that while children are resilient having a parent go to war can take a steep and potentially long-lasting toll during their critical early years when the brain is growing rapidly and children are developing a sense of trust in the world. Children who have a soldier parent often endure multiple deployments, extended separations and often tense and awkward reunions when that parent returns to the home. This creates much of the same anxiety, depression, aggression and withdrawal that adults experience, particularly when a parent has been physically or mentally traumatized.
A first-of-its-kind nationwide assessment, Study on Children of Seriously Wounded Service Members, reveals that while over 400 organizations exist to provide support and resources to seriously wounded service members and their families, the research reveals current offerings are limited and almost nonexistent in directly supporting children.
Camp Soaring Eagle’s founder Max James served honorably as an Air Force rescue helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. It was his desire to create a FREE camp for children in Arizona who have serious illnesses. Max soon recognized that children of military families often suffer pain and wounds, although invisible, that are very much as serious as physical illness. For that reason he added a camping weekend to the year-round schedule dedicated to serving the children of Arizona’s service members.
“We are honored”, Max James said, “to be supported by the Tee It Up For The Troops organization that helped fund this important camping weekend for the kids of military personnel stationed in Arizona. This inaugural weekend saw healthy veteran’s kids as well as dependent children who suffer from AIDS, asthma, autism, and blood disorders.” Max James emotionally added, “Our military families sacrifice so much for the good of our country, whether it’s the deployed troops, the spouses who hold down the fort at home or the innocent children simply trying to cope with an absent parent. The generosity of Tee It Up For The Troops is essential for us to continue to offer this kind of camping experience and we are eternally grateful to them.” For more information and ways that you can help Camp Soaring Eagle continue their mission, go to www.campsoaringeagle.org.
For the third year in a row, the State Government Affairs Council (SGAC) Foundation partnered with Tee It Up for the Troops, making a generous donation to our organization!
Wounded warrior Jared Agnetti and Tee It Up for the Troops president, Tim Wegscheid, were honored to speak at the conference, along with Hollywood actress Ashley Judd. Ms. Judd even purchased a Tee It Up for the Troops golf bag to show her support!
From Alaska to Illinois to California, 9 different golf courses and countless volunteers will host 9 different Tee It Up for the Troops golf events this August! Approximately 1600 sponsors will “step up to the tee” and join us in helping wounded veterans and their families to transition, grow, thrive and live.
At Tee It Up for the Troops, we believe in engaging communities through inspirational golf events to do great things on behalf of America’s military heroes.
We hope you will Join Us at one of our events this year! The needs of our veterans are greater than ever ~ Together, we make a difference!
A Major Beneficiary of Funds Raised at Golf Events by Tee It Up for the Troops
Tee It Up for the Troops is highlighted in the June edition of Tee Times Magazine. The article describes the fund raising activity performed by Tee It Up for the Troops for both national and local organizations who assist wounded, ill and injured warriors, along with their families, to make the transition to civilian life where they can grow and thrive. The focus of the article is on Freedom Station and Warrior Foundation that provide temporary housing and support to veterans and their families. Click here to view the article from Tee Times Magazine.
Thank you for supporting our wounded and disabled veterans and their families during the “Longest Day of Golf for the Troops” on June 20.
“The Longest Day” was a famous book and movie (starring John Wayne) honoring those who fought for our freedom on D-Day (June 6, 1944). On Friday, June 20 (the longest day of the year), Bunker Hills Golf Club is hosting the Inaugural Longest Day of Golf for the Troops.
Up to twenty golfers will be Teeing It Up for the Troops at the crack of dawn, and playing until sundown to raise money for Tee It Up for the Troops and their partner charitable organizations serving the needs of fallen and disabled veterans and their families.
Jeff Locke, MN Vikings punter, who will be participating in the event said “Both my father and grandfather served in the military and I have a great appreciation for the sacrifices that all of our veterans and their families have made for our country. Last year, I was fortunate to have Josh Freeman donate $10,000 to the Minneapolis VA Medical Center as part of our deal to let him wear my jersey #12.
“This year, I hope to raise as much money as I can for this event to continue giving back and supporting veterans here in Minnesota and across the country.”
Chris Dernick is passionate about maintaining the traditions of golf, this explains her commitment to the AJGA and the CB&I Boys Championship at Carlton Woods. Through the tournament, Dernick is also able to help out another group of people she loves, the Troops.
“One of the biggest things I have grown to appreciate is the opportunity we have to give back to the Troops. It is about the opportunity to show our appreciation for the sacrifices that they make,” Dernick said through tears. “I think it’s really important for us to provide those opportunities to our youth to realize the sacrifices people are making for them.”
We are grateful that Dernick has chosen to fulfill that passion for the Troops by working with PING and the AJGA to donate the golf bags used at the event to Tee it up for the Troops!
Meet Staff Sgt. Patrick Ziegler, a Fort Hood massacre survivor. Patrick was just moments away from being cleared to attend Officer Candidate School when he was shot in the head, shoulder, arm and hip.
November 5, 2009 was destined to change – forever – the lives of SSgt. Patrick Zeigler and Jessica Hansen. But not in the way they had planned! SSgt. Zeigler had just returned from his second combat deployment in Iraq and had returned 3 weeks ahead of his unit because he was set to begin Officer’s Candidate School. Later that fateful day he would receive his final Army enlisted separation clearance to leave Fort Hood, TX to head to Fort Benning, GA to begin school to become an Officer.
Then It Happened!
In a hailstorm of bullets, Nidal Malik Hasan, Army Major and psychiatrist turned radical Muslim terrorist, opened fire – killing 13 people and an unborn child as well as injuring 31 soldiers that were wearing the same uniform that he was wearing. With gunshots to his head, shoulder, forearm and hip and the last pints of precious blood were being pumped from his body through the massive head wounds, his first thought was to call his fiancée, Jessica. Initially, the first medic to reach him was told to sit with him until he died because they did not think his wounds were survivable. With so many people injured who required medical care, the medics had to make the difficult decisions of who to use vital resources on. However, he maintained consciousness and began talking to the medics and asking them to help him. Once they saw the fight Patrick had in him, they decided to give him a chance and they immediately began performing care on him and got him into an ambulance. He was one of the first victims to arrive at the hospital emergency room on Fort Hood and he perfectly described the shooter and the details of the scene before he lost consciousness and was airlifted to the trauma center for brain surgery. The bullet that entered his skull, shattered on impact and also shattered his bone, leaving his brain filled with bullet and bone fragments that caused near fatal bleeding. During surgery to save his life, 20-30% of his brain was actually removed. He was given less than a 5% chance of survival. Jessica remembers being told he would likely be left in a vegetative state and that I “should put him in a nursing home and move on”.
Fast Forward To Today.
After enduring more than 10 brain surgeries, 4 of which resulted in life-threatening complications that set Patrick back and required he relearn basic skills, including how to walk, all over again he has begun living his life anew. With his wife, Jessica, who at the age of 22 made the decision to be a care giving wife the rest of her life, are the proud parents of an 18-month-old son, Liam.
About 4 months ago the Zeigler family, living in Rochester, MN had their lives changed once again – this time for the better!
Thanks to our supporters and PawPADS, Staff Sgt. Patrick Ziegler, his wife Jessica and son, Liam welcomed assistance dog Ranger to their home after Patrick and Ranger graduated from PawPADS assistance dog training.
This is just one of the many ways Tee It Up for the Troops fills the gap in the lives of these American heroes.
Tee it up for the Troops, Inc. is a proud supporter of PawPADS. Seen in the picture to the left is our Chairman, Chuck Benson, presenting a $15,000 donation check to Linda Ball, Executive Director, PawPADS.