Do you think you have hope? Do you have it that bad?
Veterans-only golf course a source of therapy
LAKEWOOD, Wash. - The love of golf has brought them here.
“It’s a very addictive game,” says Leroy Petry.
Get them talking about the game and you’ll soon discover these golfers at the American Lake Veterans Golf Course in Lakewood could be talking about life.
“Making the best of it,” says Travis Spradlin.
The golf course is run by volunteers and is for veterans only.
“This is therapy for me,” says Petry, who lost his hand in the Iraq War on Memorial Day 2008. “I was shot through both my thighs and then I picked up an enemy hand grenade. Right about the time I opened up my hand to let it go, it exploded. Pretty much amputated my hand."
So they come here to play, to be together, to get free lessons and attend clinics. It’s all for them, the wounded warriors who’ve come home.
“It gets them out of their depression if they have it,” says volunteer and Korean War vet Pepper Roberts.
The golf helps. Not just the rehabilitation they’re getting, but the conversations, too - conversations with those who understand.
“The more you put into it, the better you get and the more they put into life the more they’ll get” says Roberts.
Like life, hit a bad shot, get a bad break, it’s your choice.
“You can go home,” says Vietnam Veteran Jim Martinson who lost his legs in the war. “Take drugs and quit living”.
The men we caught up to at the American Lake Veterans Golf Course have chosen to live. After all, as Petry puts it, “I feel like I’m the luckiest guy alive!”
For more information about the American Lake Veterans Golf Course go to Friendsofalvgc.com.
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