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PGA Hope uses golf to lift veterans, military communities

Aug 04, 2023Aug 04, 2023

By Justin Williams

May 17, 2023 / 8:38 PM / CBS San Francisco

A group of Bay Area military veterans this week got to show off their golf skills on the national stage thanks to PGA Hope, an organization that aims to do so much more than introduce the game to our nation's heroes.

They veterans represented PGA Hope's Northern California chapter at the annual Secretary's Cup Monday at Penfield Country Club in Western New York, just a 15-minute commute from where the 2023 PGA Championship will be held at Oak Hill Country Club.

The charitable organization was founded by the PGA of America to positively impact the physical, mental and emotional wellness of veterans by introducing them to the game of golf.

At the Secretary's Cup, there was a lot more than bragging rights at stake. Sixteen teams comprised of four veterans and an instructor gathered from across the country to enjoy a friendly round of golf, network and trade notes on how to better supports those who have served in their respective local communities.

John Reissenweber, who served with the Army in the Vietnam War, was one of the veterans competing with team Northern California. He was introduced to PGA Hope three years ago and says the program saved his life.

"I had no idea that I would find friends. I mean, try going 20 years without a friend. It's tough," said Reissenweber. "I'm trying to give the opportunity, for any other vet who was in the dark place that I was, the opportunity to find themselves again."

After struggling with the mental and emotional impacts for over 50 years, Reissenweber says he's developed a newfound joy for life after joining the community of tight-knit veterans. Now an ambassador of PGA Hope, Reissenweber hopes to give back by supporting his fellow veterans facing the same challenges he experienced.

First published on May 17, 2023 / 8:38 PM

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