PGA HOPE – Class 3 Graduation – Wrap Up

Thank you to our Class 3 graduates for your honorable service to the greatest nation on the planet. We certainly were glad you joined the program and even more grateful for your continued enthusiasm.

I need to give some special thank you’s out so please forgive the length of this email. David S. and Scott H. you have been incredible in both your continued support and helping us cultivate more veteran contacts. This definitely would not have happened without you guys. Candyss B. (Best Ranger/Candyss Associates), Bryce M. (Darby Project), Elaine S. (Team Red White & Blue), Armando H. (Home Base), Mary Jo B. (Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs), Michelle J. (Altair) and our Class 1, 2 and 3 graduates for great word of mouth. You have all been a big part of helping us grow our database and helping make this program flourish. A great big thank you to all of you and we hope you can continue to help us in the future.

Alico Family Golf Center – Kraig F. and Blaine L. have to receive a special thank you for the fine facility and making the veterans of the program feel so welcome each and every time they step foot on property. Trey S. for all his insight as an instructor each week. Kyle M. and Pat M. for giving up your time to help give back to our nation’s greatest assets, our veterans. The rest of the staff Luis and Carly for their continued hospitality. Please pass along to the rest of the staff our gratitude for their help.

South Florida PGA – Geoff L., Meredith S. and Tori S. who made the program possible bringing it over from the east coast of Florida and continuing to support us in our efforts.

A very special thank you to Judy A. whose life long journey of working with our warriors paved the way for this wonderful program.

PGA HOPE Buddies – It was very nice to have several of our graduates attend and assist with scoring for the shootout. Special thanks to Jim B. (Class 1), Rob R. (Class 1), Matt S. (Class 2) and Steve K. (Class 2). It was awesome to see you guys and very glad you were able to make it out. I’m sure it meant a lot to our Class 3 graduates for you to be there.

Patches – Thank you to my suppliers Rich J. (US Army Ranger) and Jack H. (USMC) for all your help in getting me unit patches for our participants. You guys have made my life a lot easier and I hope to continue our relationship! They all loved their patches.

One last thank you to my father Alan (Butch) Y. (US Army Ranger / 101st Airborne) for making it to the graduation. For those of you who are wondering, he is my inspiration for all the work I do with veteran organizations Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs (GAMSD) and PGA HOPE. I owe him everything and cannot thank him enough for instilling in me my work ethic and skill set which has helped me get to where I’m at today. Thanks Dad!!!

Graduation – Last evening we had our graduation celebration with some awesome grilled burgers and dogs by AFG followed by our customary shootout on the short course and presentation of the keepsakes.

It was very nice meeting the family members of a few of our Class 3 members who attended. Your kind words were much appreciated!

Josh B. (USAF Security Forces) gets top honors as our shootout winner. This was the first victory for the USAF branch as past champions Class 1 – Carl J. (US Army 1st Cavalry) and Class 2 – Bob S. (US Army 91st Combat Engineers) took top honors in their classes. Dave M. (US Army 1st Cavalry) was our runner up. Dave’s pitch from just over the 8th green ignited a roar from our crowd as he birdied the 8th hole when his pitch hit the flagstick center mass and dropped in the hole. Josh who sat in a great position just under the hole had to regroup after missing his birdie and took a one shot deficit to the last hole. Josh (picture below) caught over his putt that would prove to be the clincher. Thank you Rob R. (Class 1) for the photograph. Larry H. (US Army 1st Cavalry) and KC M. (US Army 4th Infantry) also deserve honorable mention for making the shootout final four. Josh took quite a ribbing from other competitors but proved to hold up under pressure as the banter / trash talking proved a weak attempt to make him crack. Way to go Josh!!!

Following the fun on the course we headed back to the classroom where our participants received their graduation keepsakes. Great photo of George S. (US Army 5th Regimental Combat Team). Thank you again Rob R. for the photo. Then we took a class photo outside. Thank you Michael Y. for the photo.

During wrap up we received some great feedback from our participants initiated by KC M. Thank you gentlemen for some great feedback as we definitely take your comments seriously. It helps us make slight tweaks to keep the program fun for you.

Next Tuesday, August 15 our Class 3 graduates who wish to participate will have one more opportunity for some instruction. We will meet at 6:30 pm one last time. The following Monday, August 21 and subsequent Mondays we will get back to our weekly gatherings on the short course for any of our class graduates or those waiting for future classes. We will meet around 2:00 pm on Monday afternoons.

I want to close by one more time thanking all of our PGA HOPE classes for their participation and helping me this a very rewarding experience for all of us. We are very glad with all the veterans programs you have to choose from that you gave PGA HOPE an opportunity. Most importantly thank you again for your service and helping make The United States of America to greatest nation in the world!!!