LPGA and Wounded Warriors

LPGA Makes Wounded Warriors Important

As the major tours have gone about their weekly regimens through the years, I have watched various versions of “Wounded Warriors” this and “Wounded Warriors” that go by with them. From what the name implies, I had a pretty good grip on the gist of the organization, but living in this world, having the gist just isn’t enough at times.

wounded This week, I noted that the LPGA in particular has made the Wounded Warriors an emphasis in its charitable work, and I was interested to learn that in the final two rounds of every 72 hole event during the year, CME donates 1,000 to the organization for every eagle. Perhaps if we were talking about me and fifty of my golfing friends at the local muni, not much money would be raised. But we’re not talking about that – we’re talking about the top 100 in the world “eagling” the lights out in various tournaments around the globe. Although the ShopRite only netted one eagle two years ago, the British Open had 22, along with four double eagles (albatrosses) and 31 aces, all during the final rounds. In 2014, Wounded Warriors received 283,000 for CME, and the figure was graciously rounded up to 300,000. The women of the LPGA figure to do a lot more damage to upcoming courses than that, and logic dictates that they’ll make good on the threat.
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Wounded Warriors, the United States version, was established in 2003 by a veteran who had been wounded in a helicopter accident. The first attempts to organize clothing drives and other ways of addressing immediate needs has grown into a full-scale effort that addresses both the physical and mental health of returning veterans, in particular those who are severely injured. The American organization boasts approximately 71,000 former members and almost 12,000 present ones. The movement, born in Roanoke, Virginia, is sustained under a charter of the U.S. Congress. “Wounded Warrior” of Canada bears a similar charter, striving to address matters of mental health, most notably Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in its servicemen and servicewomen, and concerns itself with all service people, whether their deployments are overseas or in the homeland.
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wounded 2 I am always intrigued when walks of life that are primarily artistic and recreational make an effort to support a profession such as the military that can, at times, be both gritty and perilous. There’s a certain beauty in one from a veteran’s family of the World War II era knitting clothing for a modern soldier stationed overseas. Golf is no exception. Those who have not donned a uniform supporting those that have has a certain rightness to it, regardless of political affiliation or world view. The esteem for a man or women in the service can remain the same, as a separate matter to whether we disagree with the mission or not, simply by understanding the offer that has been made, to stand between those of us at home and harm. I don’t believe that anyone polled the LPGA Tour to see if it was all right to create contributions to the Wounded Warriors – no one had to ask.

The Wounded Warriors project in collaboration with the professional tours in golf reminds me that what we see on TV each week is the tip of the iceberg. Behind all the drama and natural beauty that comes with the game is a living, breathing organization that interacts with everyone from children desiring to play to adults who didn’t get the chance, not to mention a concern for its own members who are in trouble. That knowledge alone is enough to shatter the charge of “elitist” sometimes leveled at sports and the arts. Fingers are crossed here for a lot of eagles coming up.

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