Wounded Veterans Benefit from Birdies for the Brave

The "Combat Hole" at the 2010 event. Photo courtesy of Birdies for the Brave Tampa Bay website.

Here’s a chance to have a “swinging good time” and also contribute to Birdies for the Brave Tampa Bay, which is part of a nationwide program that gives citizen support to wounded military members and their families.

There is a chance to mingle with members of the PGA and members of the military at the Kick-Off Party Saturday (Nov. 19) from 4 to 10 p.m. The party is open to the public at TPC – Tampa Bay, 5300 West Lutz Lake Fern Road, Lutz, Florida. It is being held overlooking the 18th fairway, includes dinner, open bar, live music, dancing and a silent auction. Tickets for the party are $40 at the door.

Reservations are required for the Golf Extravaganza scheduled Sunday (Nov. 20) also held at TPC – Tampa Bay. It will be followed by an awards ceremony.

Six non-profit organizations from the “homefront” will share the proceeds from the Tampa Bay Birdies for the Brave event:

  • Homes for our Troops
  • Operation Homefront
  • Navy SEAL Foundation
  • Special Operations Warrior Foundation
  • United Through Reading
  • Wounded Warrior Project

Birdies for the Brave is the PGA TOUR’s primary way to support men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The money raised goes to military homefront groups that directly serve military men and women lost or seriously injured.

Wounded Iraq Veteran Joel Tavera, A Home of His Own

Iraq Veteran Army Sergeant Joel Tavera is receiving a new home from Building Homes for Heroes.

After more than 70 surgeries and nearly four years of hospital care, highly decorated and severely wounded Army Sergeant Joel Tavera and his family on Saturday (Nov. 19) move into a new, four-bedroom, four-bathroom, specially-adapted home thanks to Building Homes for Heroes and William Ryan Homes.

A flag lined procession from James A. Haley VA Medical Center to his new home will welcome Tavera in patriotic fashion.

High-ranking military personnel, local dignitaries, fire-fighters, community members, corporate sponsors, civic organizations, and friends and family will be there to welcome Tavera to his new house.

“We want to thank all the hospital and military personnel, the construction team, and all of our supporters for making Joel’s dream home possible,” said Andrew Pujol, president and founder of Building Homes for Heroes in a press release.

The exterior of the new Tavera home near Tampa.

Tavera was severely injured March 12, 2008 while riding in an armored SUV inside the Tallil Airbase in southeastern Iraq when it was struck by five rockets, according to the press release.  The blasts killed three of his buddies.  Tavera was thought to be dead as well.  He lost sight in both of his eyes, his right leg, four fingers on his left hand, and suffered very serious head trauma and critical burns to 60 percent of his body.

At the time, his parents were told that their son was the second most severely injured soldier to survive the Iraq war. Sergeant Tavera, who received The Purple Heart and Bronze Star, recently underwent a 17-hour surgical procedure.

A Veterans Salute and New Recruit Swearing-In, Clearwater

4/3 Battalion HHC The United States Army Drill Team. Photo courtesy of The Old Guard website.

The Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance pays tribute to American Veterans Saturday (Nov. 19, 2011) at Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater, Florida. Planned activities include:

  • U.S. Special Operations Command Commandos skydiving jump
  • Displays of military apparatus and equipment
  • New Armed Services recruits Oath of Allegiance
  •  Music and food

Gates open at noon with a ceremony and demonstration at 2 p.m. by the US Army (Old Guard) Silent Drill Team which will include the front-to-rear overhead rifle toss. You can learn more about the  Old Guard Drill Team HERE.

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