A Day Of Thanks For America's Wounded Warriors - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/12/08-Tyler

A Day Of Thanks For America's Wounded Warriors

At first, a round of golf may seem like small thanks for the men and women who voluntarily put their bodies in harms way.

But then, you see it.

The smiles on their faces.

Organized by East Texan Dick Goetz, the Wounded Warrior Golf Pro-Am at the Cascades in Tyler not only boosted morale, money raised benefited wounded soldiers and their families.

"It's overwhelming for me," said Sergeant Clayton Post. "You know, I don't know how to say thank you enough."

Sergeant Post and Sergeant Scott Adams were two of the six wounded warriors at the Pro-Am. All are patients at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio. The veterans were flown in free of charge for a day of leisure on the course.

"I'll have 23 years in the service this July," Sergeant Adams said before recounting the day he was seriously injured.

"My vehicle was lead vehicle. We ended up hitting two anti-tank mines with white phosphorus. I unfortunately was sitting over the fuel tank and it blew up exactly right underneath me. I ended up sustaining 34 percent of my body burned."

"I threw my back out," Sergeant Post said. "I paralyzed my right leg for a little while and now I have nerve damage in my right leg."

After surviving such nightmares, a day on the golf course with celebrities was a little slice of heaven.

"Look at this," Sergeant Adams said. "This is a once and a lifetime thing for myself and these other soldiers to come out here."

The golf course is pure heaven for triple amputee Joey Bozick. Joey lost one arm and both legs when his vehicle rolled over an anti-tank mine in 2004.

"I remember the first time I hit a golf ball when I wasn't wearing any prosthetics and I was playing from a similar golf cart as the one I have today," Joey said. "I think I hit the ball off the tee about 50 yards. It was really a moment in my injury and my recovery that stands out because it was really a point of me deciding 'okay, this is going to be really hard. If I want to do this I've got to commit to it.'"

Joey says just before he was deployed in 2001 he became an avid golfer. Losing his limbs was not barrier enough to keep him from his passion.

"I remember bringing one golf club into the physical therapy clinic and telling them I want to get back to doing this and standing there and them standing there with a belt around my waist and me swinging golf clubs all over again. (You have to) learn to do it over again. It's really good to get a break and I don't want to say feel human again, but feel like your old self."

During the invocation, the best description of the day was given: "It's not just a game. It's part of the game of life that provides freedom."

The list of celebrities at Monday's Wounded Warrior Golf Pro-Am included country singer Neal McCoy, former Texas Ranger Mickey Tettleton and film actor Bubba Gilliman.

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