Wounded vets learn how to golf

KUSA 9NEWS | Allison Sylte and Steve Staeger | KUSA 9:58 p.m. MDT July 28, 2015 | Link to Coverage

Englewood, CO – A group of veterans got to learn “the game of a lifetime” this week at Inverness Golf Club as part of the Team Semper Fi Golf Camp. 9NEWS at 9 p.m. 07/28/15. KUSA

Service members dealing with life-changing injuries, brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and critical illness were taught golf skills as part of an effort to transition from military to civilian life.


KUSA – A group of veterans got to learn “the game of a lifetime” this week at Inverness Golf Club as part of the Team Semper Fi Golf Camp.

Jon Lujan, 44, is among the veterans. Lujan served in the Marines from 1993 to 1997. He reenlisted after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Wounded veterans learned how to golf this week for the Semper Fi Golf Camp (Photo: Steve Staeger, KUSA)

Wounded veterans learned how to golf this week for the Semper Fi Golf Camp
(Photo: Steve Staeger, KUSA)

While deployed in Iraq in 2003, Lujan was in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He later had surgery that confined the paralysis to his lower legs.

“My right foot, I can’t pick up,” he said. “My left foot, I can’t push it down. But I have corrective braces that help me to walk and ambulate.”

Lujan, who is also a Paralympic skier, said he played golf prior before getting hurt, but the injury made his swing difficult. He was working with pros at the camp this week to fix those problems.

“The pros are pretty good at saying ‘try this and we’ll see if it hurts, if it hurts, we’ll find a way to overcome it,’” he said.

But the lessons go beyond the mechanics of the golf swing.

“I think golf and life have a lot of parallels to each other,” said Dave Steinmetz, director of golf at Inverness Golf Club. “It teaches them the highs and the lows. It teaches them success.”

“For me it’s therapy,” Lujan said.

For more information on the Semper Fi Fund, check out: http://bit.ly/1Eb1Cb9

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