Nonprofit helping wounded veterans through golf

"Fairways for Warriors" opens new Training and Life Center facility

By Amanda Castro - Reporter/Anchor

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Saturday is Armed Forces Day. To honor our service members, a local nonprofit opened a new facility aimed at helping wounded veterans transition to civilian life.

It may look like a warehouse, but step inside and the first thing you see and feel is love.

"They're not just my friends, they're my family," said Army veteran Steven Allberry.

A family that comes from all military branches, with wounds that are visible and others unseen. The veterans now making the tough transition back to civilian life with help from a new organization, "Fairways for Warriors."

"They've helped me with my disabilities, they've helped me with anxiety, depression because they've given me other people to talk to," said Army veteran Jeff Mahl.

The nonprofit says it helps veterans get out and interact with their brothers and sisters, who understand what they have gone through.

"This program is changing lives, saving lives, saving marriages, saving guys from being isolated," said the organization's president,Tom Underdown.

It is doing that through golf at the new "Training and Life Center," an indoor golf facility that will serve veterans whenever they need help.

Underdown says the sport requires focus, determination, challenging veterans. He adds that anyone can play, no matter what injuries they brought home with them.

"Once you hit that one great shot, you get hooked and you want to do it again and again and again," Underdown said.

He adds that the sport creates healthy competition and camaraderie.

"We got your back. We had your back over there, we'll have it here," Mahl said.

The organization's goal is to prevent veterans from committing suicide.

"Just sitting in a room feeling sorry for yourself is a waste of a good life," Allberry said.

No matter how they step up to the greens, each swing and putt spreads hope to those who served and risked their lives for our country.

"Fairways for Warriors" also provides veterans-therapy services, along with financial help. If you want to learn more, visit Fairways for Warriors.

News 6 photographer, Tee Taylor playing golf inside the warehouse. [PHOTO: WKMG / AMANDA CASTRO]

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