The Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA)
Each month in this section the editorial staff of Military Embedded Systems will highlight a different charity that benefits military veterans and their families. We are honored to cover the technology that protects those who protect us every day and to back that up, our parent company – OpenSystems Media – will make a donation to each charity we showcase on this page. In the July/August issue we focused on the Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA).
SMGA’s mission is to provide rehabilitative golf experiences and family-inclusive golf opportunities for post-9/11 wounded war veterans in an effort to improve their quality of life. Eligible veterans include those wounded or injured in post-9/11 military operations, including those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI). SMGA was co-founded by former PGA Tour player Jim Estes and his childhood friend Jamie Winslow in late 2006. They witnessed first-hand how the game of golf helped wounded warriors recover from their physical and emotional wounds. SMGA began with the purpose of creating a therapeutic outlet for post-9/11 veterans undergoing prolonged medical treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.
Several trips made by patients from Walter Reed Army Medical Center to Olney Golf Park, where Estes is a PGA Teaching Professional, eventually evolved into a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation aimed at supporting post-9/11 wounded warriors, according to the website.
Many of these guys are 18 or 19 years old and have lost arms, legs, even parts of their brain, but are still willing to try something as new and complicated as golf, said Estes in a CBS Sports video on the SMGA website. To view the video, visit http://bit.ly/1tW6Wfp.
To date SMGA has given more than 2,000 private lessons to post-9/11 wounded and injured veterans and provided more than 800 sets of individually fitted clubs to wounded warriors. The organization also hosts more than 80 golf clinics each year and operates at nine affiliates/chapters nationwide.
For information on how to donate or partner with SMGA, visit www.golfsalute.org.
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