There are currently over 3.7 million disabled veterans* in the U.S. Many of them are struggling to find a sense of normalcy and reconnect with civilian life and their families.
The Links to Freedom Golf Foundation (L2F) was formed to implement Wounded Warrior and Disabled Veteran (WW&DV) rehabilitative golf programs at military and civilian golf facilities nationwide to help aid in that struggle.
“For the first time since being injured, my son is not afraid of me or me of him.”
Because of its close proximity to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Fort Belvoir Golf Club’s Head Professional, Steve Greiner, saw the need for a rehabilitative golf program up close. He watched vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with the physical and mental wounds of war and thought he could help. In 2008, he established the Fort Belvoir Wounded Warrior Golf Program. In the years since, an operating model has been developed that is compatible with many military installations’ existing golf programs. Using this model, military golf facilities can increase the number of Wounded Warriors, disabled veterans and their families participating in golf activities, and provide benefit from the program’s rehabilitative effects.
This proven model demonstrates that the golf community, PGA and LPGA of America Golf Professionals, along with corporate America, stand ready to support the WW&DV communities in its mission to care for their own. Additionally, the foundation will bolster and improve DoD golf facilities through partnering agreements with the services’ Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs.
*According to the United States Veterans Administration as cited in its 2014 Annual Report.
links to freedom hero model
Links to Freedom has developed the HERO model, a proven four-part program that applies the physical, emotional and social aspects of rehabilitation that is easily adaptable to existing programs and facilities.
Rehabilitative golf is a great way to break down barriers and promote healthy, active and physical involvement.
Expand the horizons to provide more than rehabilitation. Links to Freedom enables emotional and social connections with other participants to help build confidence and friendships.
Reintegrate Wounded Warriors and disabled veterans back into their families, work settings, professional relationships and local communities.
operationalize the program
Operationalize and refine the program to be modular and exportable to military and civilian golf courses around the country.