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Veterans take aim at Goodwin Park Golf Course in Hartford

HARTFORD -- The drives, the chips and the putts, were all plentiful for more than 20 disabled veterans at the Goodwin Park Golf Course on a steamy Thursday.

For the first time in Connecticut, the PGA has brought its "HOPE" program to the area.

HOPE stands for "Helping Our Patriots Everywhere" and local teaching professionals lend their golf expertise and equipment to retired servicemen and women free of charge.

"You know these people are special," said Josh Detmer, a teaching pro who owns Go Golf Academy and has spent the last four Thursday mornings teaching vets with disabilities.

"They have given a lot to us and it's my way of giving back to them."

Army Master Sergeant Ron Maebry, from Hamden, who served for more than 25 years, just took up the game when he heard about the PGA HOPE program through the Newington VA group.

After hitting a few well struck drives on the range, Maebry said, "For a person that suffers with PTSD this is a way of dealing with my stresses, it's just one way to relax."

Joe Mentz, the head pro at Goodwin Park added, "this is therapy and we just connect them (the veterans) with the game and it takes their minds of their disabilities."

Maebry said he is staying in the game, "I'm hard charging all the way, I'm gonna learn it and get bet better!"

For more information about the PGA’s  free “Helping Our Patriots Everywhere” program, click here.

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