SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Ask any golfer, and they will tell you being on the course can be a tranquil experience.
That is one of the reasons veterans and their supporters are gathering at the Grand Falls Golf Resort today near Larchwood.
The Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere, or GIVE Foundation is raising money to provide area veterans with the empowerment, fellowship, and accessibility they deserve. Jeff Delvaux is the Executive director of the GIVE Foundation.
“They get ten hours of PGA professional coaching for five weeks, two hours a week, we give them a set of clubs, we give them a shirt and a hat, just like I’m wearing here all the things they need but the best thing is after they finish their ten hours in five weeks they get a card that lets them golf at 64 courses across Iowa,” said Delvaux.
Today veterans and supporters of the program golfed together. The veterans say seeing the support is special.
“We have this common bond. There is this brotherhood and sisterhood through the military. We’ve all been through the thick and thin, we’ve experienced very similar experiences through life through serving in the military, and it’s just a time for us to reconnect and opportunity to talk,” said golfer and veteran Troy Mergen.
Veteran Michael Fletcher went through the program in 2018. He says it has opened his life up to more possibilities.
“When people talk about vets coming back or being released from service, they don’t realize that service changes you in a lot of ways. For some, it’s a physical thing. For most, it is an unseen trauma that most people don’t realize. A program like this allows us to get connected to people who truly understand versus somebody who is standing there saying, oh, I think I understand,” said Fletcher.
Grand Falls Golf Resort tells us they work closely with the Veterans Administration in Sioux Falls. Injured veterans can apply for the program through the V.A. which screens who can qualify.