Phil Mickelson receives a hand shake and appreciation from Sgt. Major Bryan Battaglia during military appreciation ceremonies at The Barclays at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey. Mickelson was recognized for his ongoing support of combat-wounded veterans through the Birdies for the Brave initiative started by Phil and his wife Amy in 2004
Photo courtesy of Phil Mickelson and Birdies for the Brave

Professional Golfers For Warriors

Proudly supported by the PGA TOUR “Birdies for the Brave”

Our Mission
Proudly supported by the PGA TOUR and its affiliates, Birdies for the Brave is a national military outreach initiative dedicated to honoring and showing appreciation to the courageous men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families.

Our Strong Birdies for the Brave was originally created in 2006 by PGA TOUR player, Phil Mickelson, and his wife, Amy, to support combat-wounded veterans. The PGA TOUR subsequently adopted the program, and expanded it to include a wide variety of military outreach and appreciation activities during tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions and Tour, as well as a series of fundraising events conducted at the TOUR’s Tournament Players Clubs (TPCs) and partner courses across the nation – an effort that has raised more than $15 million for non-profit military homefront groups that provide critical programs and services for military families and wounded heroes.

For more information on Birdies for the Brave, visit or follow them on Facebook.

A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier
The two sand-colored Humvees at the center of the circle stand in stark contrast to the well-manicured lawn and red, white and blue flowers that frame the grand entrance to the iconic Greenbrier Resort.

The Black Hawk helicopter that touched down on the 18th green Tuesday afternoon was an anomaly, as well. Ditto for the four paratroopers who cascaded out of the skies with an giant American flag on Wednesday.

Members of the military, any of whom get into the tournament for free this week, served as caddies during the pro-am. And a C-130 plane brought play to a brief standstill Wednesday as it flew over the mountains and buzzed the 18th green.

While things may seem a little different here at a resort better known for its golf, horseback riding, falconry and even glass blowing, though, it’s with good reason. This is the week of A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.

The eighth renewal of the PGA TOUR event has a new name and a new focus that reflects the history of the resort that has hosted 27 U.S. Presidents, including the incumbent, Donald Trump, on Tuesday night. With the tournament being played during the week of July 4th, the decision to honor the military was a no-brainer.

“We’ve always tried to find some way to have that military tie-in and we just decided it was time to take it a step further and really show that commitment,” says Cam Huffman, director of public relations and content for The Greenbrier.
From a story by Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

The Greenbrier Military History
The military connection at The Greenbrier dates back to the Civil War. The Old White Hotel, which stood on the property before The Greenbrier was built, was actually used as a hospital for both Confederate and Union soldiers at one point or other during the Civil War.

The Army even bought the hotel during World War II and used it as a hospital for the wounded. Known as the Ashford General Hospital from 1942-‘46, it was dubbed “The Shangri-La for Wounded Soldiers and Airmen” as service members were able to use all the facilities while they recovered. German POWs tended to the grounds and worked in the mess hall, among other duties.

“The spa was still open. The golf was still open. It was more of a rehab thing for soldiers to participate in some of those activities while getting back to normal,” Huffman says.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower was among the more than 24,000 military members treated at Ashford Hospital. He fell in love with the facility, and he and his wife, Mamie, even celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary at the Top Notch Cottage, which was built prior to the Civil War. General John W. Pershing completed his memoirs while staying in the same place.

Eisenhower later decided that The Greenbrier would be the perfect place to build a secret facility to house Congress in case of a nuclear attack. So construction on what was called “Project Greek Island” began in 1958.

Workers were told it would be a conference facility, and in fact, some of it was used for that purpose. Beyond those concrete walls that were 3 feet thick, though, was a facility that could house more than 1,000 government officials – complete with metal bunk beds and its own communications system.

For 30 years, until it was “outed” in the Washington Post in 1992, The Bunker stood ready to serve. It was even stocked with enough food to last six months – just in case the worst happened.

As something of an adjunct to The Bunker, the landing strip at nearby Lewisburg Airport had to be expanded so that it could accommodate the likes of Air Force One, as was the case on Tuesday night when President Trump arrived. Roads in and out of the town of 4,000 were shut down as the motorcade made the 20-minute trek to the resort and back again.

“Actually, even when the President is not coming in, Air Force One does a lot of touch down practices at that airport, training exercises and stuff,” Huffman says.

Trump spoke for roughly 30 minutes at a “Salute to Service” dinner for about 100 members of the military and pro-am participants. It was his fifth visit to West Virginia, whose governor, Jim Justice, is a close political ally and owns The Greenbrier.

“We’ve had meetings for weeks to make sure everything is set and perfect,” Huffman says. “It’s kind of eye-opening to see everything that goes into it. They know every step he’s going to make when.
From a story by Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

Army soldiers standing with one of the Humvees in front of The Greenbrier. (Mike Wyatt/Greenbrier Photography)

A skydiver coasts down to The Greenbrier with an American flag. (Mike Wyatt/Greenbrier Photography)

A UH-60 Blackhawk from the West Virginia Army National Guard and it’s crew at the Military Tribute at The
PGA TOUR, The Greenbrier and TPC Network

Sgt Kyra Vance West Virginia Army National Guard, left and MSgt Kevin Cordie, WV Air National Guard holds the flag stick while golfers putt out on par 3, 18th green during the first round of A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier golf tournament (Rick Barbero/The Register-Herald)

Military members greet caddies as they hold the American flag serving as the pin marker on hole 18 during opening round of the Military Tribute at The Greenbrier. (Brad David/The Register-Herald)

Webb Simpson shakes hands with Master Sargent Kevin Cordle of the West Virginia Air National Guard as
Staff Sargent Joseph Weatherford of the West Virginia National Guard holds the pin flag.
Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bubba Watson hits his tee shot 12th hole.Watson’s late father Gerry was a Green Beret who served during the Vietnam War and he’s always a staunch supporter of the military.
…..(Rick Barbero/The Register-Herald)

Kevin Na holds the trophy after winning the 2018 Military Tribute at The Greenbrier

Phil Mickelson – Professional Golfer

Phil Mickelson receives a hand shake and appreciation from Sgt. Major Bryan Battaglia during military appreciation ceremonies at The Barclays at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey. Mickelson was recognized for his ongoing support of combat-wounded veterans through the Birdies for the Brave initiative started by Phil and his wife Amy in 2004
Photo courtesy of Phil Mickelson and Birdies for the Brave

Phil Mickelson with service members during military appreciation ceremonies at The Barclays at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey.
Photo courtesy of Phil Mickelson and Birdies for the Brave

Phil Mickelson and Sgt. Major Bryan Battaglia receiving a $100,000.00 donation to support Birdies for the Brave from Callaway Golf and presented by Nick Raffaele, Callaway’s vice president of sports marketing during military appreciation ceremonies at The Barclays at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey.
Photo courtesy of Phil Mickelson and Birdies for the Brave

Now in his 25th year on the PGA Tour, Phil Mickelson has achieved things almost no other player has. A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, his 42 wins as a professional rank eighth on the all-time list. He has won five of his 90 career major championships as a professional and has finished in the top three 25 times, 41 times in the top 10. This year he will extend his American Ryder Cup team record for most appearances to 10 consecutive Ryder Cups.

He has also contributed substantial time and money to support active and retired military personnel and their families.

In 2004 The Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation committed to donating $100 for every birdie and $500 for every eagle he made on the Tour to two military support groups, Homes for Our Troops and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Phil and Amy called their program “Birdies for the Brave”.

Weeks later, the band Linkin Park performed in Tampa, home of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The day after the concert bassist Dave Ferrell said, “If Phil’s in, I’m in,” walked into the office and donated his cut from the show, $75,000. The program was off and running.

Two year later, at a Tour event in suburban Chicago, Phil and Amy sat alongside PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and announced the creation of the Tour’s Birdies for the Brave program.

“It's not just about how many dollars we raise,” said Phil, whose father was a Navy fighter pilot. “That's kind of secondary to raising awareness and appreciation of the fact that these guys are putting their lives on the line for us. When they come home they deserve the quality of life that we want them to have, that they should have.”

A decade later the Tour program has raised more than $17 million for non-profit military homefront groups that provide direct support to military members, veterans, and their families. This support ranges from financial aid, rehabilitation services, counseling and housing to educational scholarships and career development.

In August 2016 Phil and Amy’s effort was recognized by Sgt. Major Bryan Battaglia, the former senior advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That day it was announced the Callaway Golf, which Phil has represented since 2004, was donating $100,000 to Birdies for the Brave.

The program continues to grow through fundraising tournaments staged at 17 Tour-owned TPC golf facilities across the country and a number of others services outlined on the Birdies for the Brave website,

David Feherty, CBS broadcaster and Troops First founder

CBS broadcaster and Troops First founder David Feherty gets emotional after receiving an award during opening ceremonies on Pro-Am day at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda MD for his ongoing support of our veterans and service members.
Photo credit -- © Cal Sport Media/Alamy Live News

Feherty’s Troops First Foundation works to provide meaningful assistance to United States military service members and their families. Co-founded in 2008 by Golf Channel broadcaster David Feherty and Rick Kell, their Troops First Foundation offers programs and specialized events that address relationship building, mentoring, reintegration and looking forward. Troops First Foundation programs include 24/7 Battle Buddies, Operation Front Door, Operation Proper Exit, Operation Warrior Call and the Leroy Petry Village of Honor. Troops First Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Laurel, Md. For more information or to get involved, visit

David Feherty has been with Golf Channel since 2011, as host of his popular self-titled talk show Feherty. The show originally debuted in June 2011 as the most-watched original series in Golf Channel history. Feherty received an Emmy nomination in 2014 for “Outstanding Sports Personality.” Described as “a cross between Oprah Winfrey and Johnny Carson” by The New York Times, Feherty has made a name for himself not only through his self-titled Golf Channel talk show, but as one of the most irrepressible personalities in golf.

Feherty’s most fulfilling activities are on behalf of badly injured U.S. troops. In 2005, he was part of a Thanksgiving goodwill tour to Iraq and returned with a new mission, determined to do something to better the lives of those he calls “American heroes.” Subsequently, he founded “Feherty’s Troops First Foundation”, which – among other good deeds – works with wounded veterans.

“Losing a limb, or the ability to use a limb, is one thing,” Feherty says. “But the dignity they lose with it is perhaps even more important. And to be able to give them some of that dignity back is my mission these days. It’s not a charity. It’s just us trying to pay back a very small part of the check that we owe them.”

In 2012, Feherty was awarded the third highest honor within the Department of the Army Civilian Awards, the Outstanding Civilian Service Award, for substantial contributions to the U.S. Army community through his work with the Troops First Foundation. In 2013 his Troops First Foundation was named the Military Charity of the year at the AT&T National.


Leroy Petry Village of Honor
In an effort to continue with the Foundation's mission of developing relevant initiatives to assist Warriors with reintegrating to civilian life, we have built the Leroy Petry Village of Honor. This is a transitional housing program located not far from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that consists of seven single-family accessible homes. These homes will be available for a one to two year period to Warriors and their families who are transitioning out of the military after injuries sustained in combat.

Named after Medal of Honor recipient Master Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, the village is located in Prince George’s County, Maryland. All seven homes will be located on Chief Chris Kyle Court, in memory of former sniper and Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. The first home at The Leroy Petry Village of Honor is expected to be completed during the spring of 2016.

About Leroy Petry
The village is named in honor for Medal of Honor recipient Leroy Arthur Petry a career United States Army soldier, retired as a Master Sergeant. He received the U.S. military's highest decoration for his actions in Afghanistan in 2008 during Operation Enduring Freedom. Petry deployed several times to both Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. On 26 May 2008 during his seventh deployment, Petry was a member of a team on a mission to capture a Taliban target in Paktia Province. Despite being wounded in both legs by gunfire, Petry continued to fight and give orders. When a grenade landed between him and two other soldiers, Petry grabbed it and attempted to throw it away from them. He saved the soldiers' lives but the grenade exploded, severing his right hand.

Operation Proper Exit
When a Warrior is wounded and forced to leave the battlefield, the swift medical evacuation process often does not allow them the time they need to make a “proper exit.” Operation Proper Exit is a unique initiative designed for Wounded Warfighters who are thriving in recovery and are capable of returning to theater. This program itinerary stages meet-and-greet opportunities with currently deployed troops as well as battlefield circulation returning the Warriors in many cases to the site where they were injured.

Operation Warrior Call
An initiative of Feherty’s Troops First Foundation, Warrior Call is a nationwide effort aimed at encouraging service members to reach out to fellow “battle buddies” in hopes that reconnecting will facilitate honest dialogue, create a desire to stay in contact, and for some Warriors help define a viable pathway forward. Continuing communications between “battle buddies” redeployed home may be essential to transition out of the stress endured “down range.” The comfort of knowing that a trusted friend is just a phone call away could mean the difference between a good decision and a bad decision on any given day.

Warrior Call asks service members to take the Warrior Call Pledge, a promise to reach out to other service members each week and offer support, guidance and communicate openly.

For more information on Warrior Call and how to take the Pledge visit, and

Jordan Spieth – PGA TOUR Player & Major Champion

Jordan Spieth with members of Honor, Courage and Commitment, (HCC) his guests at the
2015 Spieth Shootout. HCC’s Mission: Creating elite veterans through education, mentorship,
and community service.
Photo courtesy of Jordan Spieth and Lagardere Sports

Jordan Spieth with retired Army Staff Sgt. Brian Mast at the pro-am BMW Championship “Caddy for a Cure” event.
Photo courtesy of Jordan Spieth and Lagardere Sports

Jordan Spieth with members of Honor, Courage and Commitment, (HCC) his guests at the 2015 Spieth Shootout
HCC’s Mission: Creating, elite veterans through education, mentorship, and community service.
Photo courtesy of Jordan Spieth and Lagardere Sports

Since turning professional in December 2012, Jordan Spieth has put together an incredible resume with 14 worldwide wins and earning the title of three-time Major Champion. With his victories at The Masters (2015), The U.S. Open (2015, Chamber’s Bay) and most recently at The Open (2017, Royal Birkdale), Jordan joins Jack Nicklaus as the only other golfer with three Majors before the age of 24. His Open Championship win culminated in one of the most memorable finishes in golf history.

His career highlights include:

  • 3-Time Major Champion – 2015 Masters, 2015 U.S. Open, 2017 The Open

  • 14 Total Professional Career Wins
    o Including the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2017

  • 2015 PGA TOUR Player of the Year (Jack Nicklaus Trophy)

  • 2015 Vardon Trophy

  • 2015 Byron Nelson Award (Led TOUR in Scoring Average)

  • 2015 Arnold Palmer Award (Led TOUR in Earnings)

  • 2015 FedEx Cup Champion

  • Two-time U.S. Ryder Cup

  • Three-time Presidents Cup Team Member

  • 2013 PGA TOUR Rookie of the YEAR

  • In 2014, Jordan established the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation. The Foundation focuses on supporting the following pillars: Special Needs Youth, Junior Golf, Childhood Cancer, Military Families and Pediatric Cancer.

In 2014, Jordan and his family were honored to establish the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation. The Foundation focuses on the following pillars: Special Needs Youth, Junior Golf, Pediatric Cancer and Military Families.

The pillar supporting Military Families is very personal to Jordan. He made it a mission of the Foundation to give back to those who bravely serve our Country and, through the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation grants, thousands of military men, women and their families have been blessed with holiday gifts, basic home supplies, therapy, programming scholarships and much more. The JSFF continues to proudly support our military & veterans through grants that focus on the physical, mental and family wellness of these brave men and women.

Learn more at:

Billy Hurley III—Professional Golfer and Navy Academy grad

Billy Hurley III holding the winner’s trophy. Hurley shot a 2 under par 69 on June 26, 2016 to give him a three stroke win and his first PGA Tour victory at the Quicken Loans National at Comgressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland
Photo John McDonnell/The Washington Post

Immediately after winning the Quicken Loans National Hurley signed the “We Salute Our Heroes” wall, provided by the Tiger Woods Foundation, a tradition for the winner of the tournament each year.

Hurley’s message on the “We Salute Our Heroes” wall

Professional Golfer Lieutenant Billy Hurley III aboard ship serving his military obligation after graduating from the Navy Academy
Photo courtesy of Billy Hurley III and Nick Biesecker Blue

PGA Billy Hurley III right talks with US Navy Lt. Commander Tom Ogden, center, the executive officer of the guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) and Command Master Chief Chris Detjie during a tour of the ship Jan. 8, 2014, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Hurley served aboard the Chung-Hoon from June 2007 to June 2009.
Photo courtesy of Billy Hurley III and Nick Biesecker Blue

Billy Hurley III graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2004 and served as a Naval officer from 2004-09. Hurley was a lieutenant aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer serving in the Persian Gulf to protect Iraqi oil platforms. He also spent time on the Red Sea and the South China Sea and served on the USS Chung-Hoon, a 10,000-ton guided-missile destroyer. Hurley also was stationed on a cruiser in Jacksonville, Fla., and a destroyer in Pearl Harbor in Hawaii during his five-year obligation. A skilled sailor Hurley won two ship-driving awards during his Naval career and also navigated the Panama Canal.

As an amateur golfer, Hurley was a member of the victorious American Team in the 2005 Walker Cup, held at the Chicago Golf Club. The Walker Cup is a competition held biennially that matches the top American amateurs against the best of Great Britain and Ireland. He was also captain of the 2004 Palmer Cup team, an annual competition named for Arnold Palmer that matches American collegiate golfers against European college/university players.

Hurley won seven collegiate golf titles at Navy, was named 2004 Patriot League Player of the Year, and earned the award for the top college golfer and sportsman (the Byron Nelson Award). He was ranked the sixth-best amateur in the world.

After making 11 PGA TOUR starts and four starts on the Tour, Hurley earned his breakthrough PGA TOUR victory at the 2016 Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club near his hometown of Annapolis, Md. Hurley posted a final-round 69 to win the Quicken Loans National by three shots over Vijay Singh for his first PGA TOUR victory in his 104th PGA TOUR start at the age of 34 years. With the win he earned a spot in the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon as part of The Open Qualifying Series. Hurley joined 2015 Quicken Loans National champion Troy Merritt as the only first-time winners of the event. Hurley along with his wife Heather are active in several charities including: Birdies for the Brave, a military outreach initiative sponsored by the PGA Tour and begun by Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy. They also are involved with MilitaryOneClick and support the SEAL Legacy Foundation and Operation Shower.

Jim Furyk– Professional Golfer

Jim Furyk
Photo courtesy of Jim Furyk and The Legacy Agency

One of the PGA TOUR’s most recognizable and talented golfers, Jim Furyk was born on May 12, 1970 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It seems like Furyk was born to play golf; his father Mike as an assistant pro at Edgmont Country club, and young Jim was raised into the game. Jim Furyk’s only golf instruction came from his father; and many note that might account for his unusual—yet effective—swing. In addition to Edgmont Country Club, Mike Furyk also served as head pro at Uniontown Country Club.

Jim Furyk took that homegrown golf talent to play at the University of Arizona in Tuscon, where he was an All-American twice. He also led the Wildcats to their first (and thus far only) NCAA title in 1992. That same year, Furyk turned professional and the rest, as they say, is history. He joined the PGA TOUR in 1994 and has won at least one tournament each year between 1998 and 2003. His streak took a little bit of a hit in 2004 when Furyk missed three months due to surgery to repair cartilage damage in his wrist. He soon came back into top form finishing a career-high second on the money list in 2006. Furyk truly hit his stride in 2010, winning a career-best three tournaments on the PGA TOUR that year. The most notable victory was the season-ending Tour Championship. That victory earned him the 2010 FedEx Cup. His stellar performance in 2010 won him both the PGA Player of the Year and PGA TOUR Player of the year.

Career Highlights
Mr. 58

On Sunday August 7, 2016 Jim shot a record 58 at the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell Connecticut. The PGA Tour was founded in 1929. Before Sunday, Aug. 7, nobody had ever shot a 58 in tournament play. There had been approximately 1.5 million rounds in the history of the PGA Tour. In that time, there had been six 59s (one by Jim) but no 58s.

Payne Stewart Award for 2016
The Payne Stewart Award is given to a player whose "values align with the character, charity and sportsmanship that Stewart showed". This includes respect for the traditions of the game, commitment to uphold the game's heritage of charitable support and professional and meticulous presentation of himself and the sport through his dress and conduct.

17-Time PGA TOUR Champion Including:

  • 11 Professional Career Wins

  • 2003 U.S. Open

  • 2010 TOUR Championship

  • 2010 Transitions Championship

  • 2010 RBC Heritage

  • 2010 Valspar Championship

  • 2x Grand Slam of Golf Champion (2003, 2008)

  • 3 International Victories

  • 2010 Fed Ex Cup Champion

  • 2010 PGA TOUR Player of the Year

  • 2010 PGA of America Player of the Year

  • 15 Consecutive US National Teams

  • 9x Ryder Cup Team Member

  • 7x Presidents Cup Team Member

  • 4th on the All-Time PGA TOUR Career Earnings List

  • One of just three players to finish inside the Top-15 of the Fed Ex Cup Standings in each of the first four seasons of the Playoff

  • 6th Player in PGA TOUR history to shoot 59 – second round 2013 BMW Championship

Military Support
Jim and his wife Tabitha support “Birdies for the Brave”, a military outreach initiative sponsored by the PGA Tour and begun by Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy. They also support “Operation Shower” which provides essentials for military families who are expecting in a baby shower setting.

The Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation
Created to help families and children in need, The Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation is a charity that is dedicated to making our communities a better place. Based out of Jacksonville, the foundation is involved with many different projects across North Florida. Collaborating with other organizations such as the Wolfson’s Children Hospital, Blessings in a Backpack, Community PedsCare and Operation Sower. The Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation helps to provide necessary funding to help our communities become healthier, stronger and educationally enriched.

Rory Sabbatini – Professional Golfer

Rory Sabbatini
Courtesy of Rory Sabbatini and Wasserman Media Group – VA
Photo credit -- Alamy photos

Rory Sabbatini aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer presenting his $170,000 donation to United Through Reading. UTR helps deployed service members stay connected to their children through reading. Sabbatini’s donation is the largest donation in the program’s 19-year history.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Jon Rasmussen

A native of South Africa Rory Sabbatini began playing golf at age 4, but concentrated on it from age 12. He was recruited by the University of Arizona, turned pro in 1998 and joined the PGA TOUR in 1999. Dominant is one of the words that can be used to describe Rory Sabbatini and his long standing PGA TOUR career. Sabbatini played his first season on the PGA TOUR in 1999 and by 2007 he had reached the top 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings, an accomplishment he would repeat in 2008. Sabbatini finished T2 at the 2007 Masters and enjoyed his return to Augusta by winning the Par 3 Contest at the 2008 masters. He has also represented South Africa in the World Cup five times including winning the event with Trevor Immelman in 2003. He boasts six PGA wins, most recently the 2011 Honda Classic. Proving to be a consistent threat, Sabbatini has also amassed fourteen career runner-up finishes and 69 career top 10 finishes.

Military Support
Rory is involved in a myriad of philanthropic causes, most notably supporting the United States Military via United Through Reading/Birdies for the Brave. Rory is honored to participate with UTR a nonprofit organization dedicated to uniting families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together – particularly for the more than one million American children who are separated from one or both parents due to military deployment. The nationally acclaimed programs developed by United Through Reading provide opportunities for emotional bonding that relieve the stress of separation and instill a love of reading by enabling family members to read aloud to children on DVD. United Through Reading’s programs help bring far-away family members back home for a little while each day, and help turn what might otherwise be tentative, anxious family re-introductions into joyous reunions.

“We cannot thank Rory enough for helping us expand this program and its benefits to many, many more service members and their families”. Betty Mohlenbrock, CEO of United Through Reading

Sabbatini wears camouflage pants on tour
In 2005 Sabbatini’s wife Amy read an article about the US government's poor death benefits and the charity Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund which provides aid to families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Amy, who comes from a military family and whose father fought in Vietnam brought it to Rory’s attention who then decided to do something to contribute to the fund.

That season he wore camouflage pants to bring awareness to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and to raise funds for it. For every birdie Sabbatini made that season, he donated $250 and for every eagle, he donated $1,000. With three eagles on the season and more than 100 birdies, Sabbatini rang up around $30,000 for the charity.

At the end of that season Sabbatini’s camouflage pants were donated to the World Golf Hall of Fame to be displayed to continue to raise awareness about our troops sacrifice and the fund.

Jerry Kelly – Professional Golfer

Jerry Kelly Tees off at the Travelers Players Championship
Photo courtesy of Jerry Kelly and Barry Meister, Meister Sports Management

Jerry Kelly giving instructions to wounded warrior Lloyd Meredith at the Valspar Championship Tournament
Photo courtesy of jerry Kelly and Barry Meister, Meister Sports Management

Jerry Kelly spent eight days in Iraq visiting the troops as part of USO’s “Operation Links Handshake Tour”
Photo courtesy of Jerry Kelly and Barry Meister, Meister Sports Management

Wisconsin’s favorite son, Jerry Kelly has been a mainstay on the PGA Tour for more than 15 years. Jerry is looked up by young PGA professionals both for his success on the course and his dedication to family, community and charity.

Kelly has 8 professional wins on his resume, including wins at the Sony Open, Western Open and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and won the 2009 Shark Shootout with Steve Stickler. In 2016 Jerry finished 72nd in the FedEx Cup Standings, including a thrilling 2nd place finish in the Travelers Championship. Jerry played for the United States in the 2003 Presidents Cup competing against an international team representing the rest of the world minus Europe. Europe competes against the United States in the Ryder Cup.

Kelly is in the top 25 in all time PGA TOUR earnings having earned in excess of $28,500,000 and has 91 Top Ten finishes to his credit, including as high as 6th on the money list in 2002.

Kelly is one of those rear athletes who inspires and mentors,,,making the PGA TOUR and everyone he meets better by his presence.

Military Support
Kelly supports many patriotic causes including Heroes For Kids, Birdies for the Brave and Wounded Warrior. His commitment to our men and woman in uniform is unwavering and constant.

At the Valspar Championship Tournament in conjunction with Birdies for the Brave Kelly took time to instruct wounded warriors. “They are so selfless. They don’t expect a thing,” the three-time PGA TOUR winner stressed of the Wounded Warriors on the range. “There’s no entitlement with these guys, whatsoever. They’ve done all of this for us.”

In 2006 Kelly and four other PGA Tour members spent eight days in Iraq as part of the USO's "Operation Links Handshake Tour." The group included Frank Lickliter II, Donnie Hammond, Howard Twitty and Corey Pavin.

The golfers visited 14 bases in Iraq, entertaining the troops with golf exhibitions and swapping stories with soldiers in conversations that stretched into the early morning hours.

"It was a life-changing experience," Kelly said. "It was the coolest thing I've ever done." "We hit balls off of Saddam's palace, off the back of a tank, off the wing of an Iraqi MIG fighter," Kelly said. "We stopped a soccer game in the Kurd region and hit balls off the field into Turkey. We hit balls in Mosul. We did a ton of stuff. We wish we could have spent more time with the guys. They were like, 'Thank you so much.' We were like, 'Are you kidding me? We're the ones who are thankful!"