Lieutenant Joe Caley went from being unfamiliar with the game of golf to hitting hundreds of golf balls a week. Stepping out onto a golf course to hit balls from the range didn’t come easy to wounded solider, but playing golf was a chance wounded soldiers like Caley were willing to take.
From September of 2009 until now, Caley’s opinion on golf has changed. As founder of the 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Green 2 Green Foundation, golf has inspired Caley along with other wounded soldiers. The Green 2 Green Foundation provides aid to men and women who are transitioning from serving in war and being injured to adapting back to civilian life. Green 2 Green was selected as the benefiting charity of the AJGA’s E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship presented by Electrolux. Many Green 2 Green Foundation members participated in the Jim Hudson Lexus Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament, Monday, July 25, along with multiple foundation members volunteering throughout the week.
Over time golf became much more to Caley than a sport at which he strived to be good. Caley thrived on the idea of spending less time in the hospital room and more time on the driving range. Golf has served as a means of rehabilitation, fellowship and progress to Caley and other wounded soldiers who strive to overcome their physical and mental wounds from war while transitioning back into civilian life.
“Golf gave me an outlet away from the hospital and away from the world where you can’t do this and can’t do that,” Caley said. “I started realizing golf was a very inclusive sport at any age or ability.”
Green 2 Green Foundation was offered a $5000 check from the AJGA E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship presented by Electrolux at the Jim Hudson Lexus Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament Reception on Monday evening.
“We are all about the soldiers,” said Ligé Haab, Green 2 Green Foundation Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “These soldiers have given so much and people don’t realize that coming home isn’t where their duty ends.”’
Today over 2,000 soldiers participate in adaptive golf through the Green 2 Green Foundation and the numbers only continue to grow as wounded soldiers take a chance encounter with the game of golf.
– written by Denae Olberding, AJGA Communications