by Phil Hicks, Tyler Morning Telegraph
Dick Goetz (right), Chairman of the Board of Directors, honors (from left) Monte Hall, Gerry Hall and Pam Hall for their devotion and fundraising for the Foundation. Photo courtesy of Phil Hicks and Tyler Morning Telegraph.
Since its inception some 12 years ago, the Texas Wounded Warrior Foundation has raised more than $6.5 million and a big part of that fundraising has been provided by the Hall family of Tyler, chairman Dick Goetz said on Thursday.
Retired Senior PGA Tour pro Goetz, who along with retired Navy Lt. Commander Ron Nash founded the organization in 2007, honored the Halls — Gerry, Pam and Monte — and announced plans for the 12th Annual Tyler event in September, during a luncheon at The Cascades Golf & Country Club.
Hall Buick GMC of Tyler hosted Texas Wounded Warrior Month in May for the ninth consecutive year and Hall Chevrolet Buick GMC of Canton joined this year. For each vehicle sold, the Halls donate a portion of the sale to the Texas Wounded Warrior Foundation. Mrs. Hall presented a check to Goetz for $13,000.
Goetz honored the Halls with a plaque noting their service to the Texas Wounded Warrior Foundation. The plaque was adorned with the emblems of each service branch as the Halls have family members who have served in each branch.
The Halls’ donations have been instrumental in purchasing three passenger vans — one in Tyler and two in the Horseshoe Bay area — that “help the wounded warriors back-and-forth to medical appointments,” Goetz said.
“As we approach our 12th annual Texas Wounded Warrior Tyler Pro-Am event, the board of directors is once again humbled by the task of providing a unique respite for the mind and soul of some of our nation’s greatest heroes,” Goetz said. “Each year in late September or early October, the Tyler community embraces those that have sacrificed so much in the name of our great country by hosting a weekend of celebration of golf, food, entertainment and fun to honor our Wounded Warriors.”
Goetz said this year’s Tyler pro-am weekend is scheduled for Sept. 28-30. He said Harry Leatherwood is scheduled to host an event for the veterans and their wives at Rio Neches Ranch, followed by entertainment at Liberty Hall with comedian/magician Michael Finney. Other activities are planned as well.
The morning of Sept. 30, the wounded warriors will be saluted at an All Saints Episcopal School assembly. The pro-am is scheduled to start around noon at The Cascades Golf & Country Club.
“It is such a thrill for the wounded warriors to enter Brookshire Gym at All Saints with those children chanting ‘USA! USA!’ and holding flags,” Goetz said. “It amazes me how these 6-7-8-year-olds all learn and sing the service medley.”
Other details for the weekend will be announced later, Goetz said.
“Without the generosity and patriotic spirit of giving within our community, the incredible sustained success of our organization would simply not be possible,” Goetz said. “Since the inaugural Pro-Am in Tyler in 2008, the Texas Wounded Warrior Foundation has raised over $6 million, and assisted no less than 700 unique Wounded Warriors and their families with direct aid and financial support. Perhaps most importantly, of every dollar donated by our amazing fellow Texans, approximately 88% of that money goes directly to our Warriors.”
The Texas Wounded Warrior Foundation sponsors pro-ams, golf outings/instruction, weekend retreats, and hunting and fishings trips in and near Amarillo, Burnet, Houston, Prosper, Horseshoe Bay and San Antonio.
“I’m often asked why our organization is necessary since our government is supposed to take care of its wounded military,” Goetz said. “Our mission is to help provide critical assistance when veterans’ benefits are slow in getting started or do not meet the full scope of basic needs for warriors and their families.”
The organization also works with agencies to provide needed services such as upgrading housing and transportation to make them accessible for people with disabilities.
Joining Goetz and Nash on the board of directors are Bob Burnett, Chris Hudson, Kerrie Covert, Toni Davis, Larue Decker, Laura Trotter, Steven Braley, Thomas Gros, Jack Goetz, Matthew Cohen, Lily Garst and Krista Rosebury, along with honorary members Bob Goetz and Kurt Kosmatka.
87% of all donations are used to support Wounded Warriors and their Families. For more information visit our Financials page.
The mission of the Texas Wounded Warrior Foundation is to raise awareness, to honor, and to empower our Wounded United States Military Warriors who live in Texas and surrounding states, enabling them to assimilate back to daily life upon their return from combat. We seek to provide Wounded Veterans injured from combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan with funding to defray the basic costs of living incurred, as a result of the short and long-term care of those injuries.
Our focus is to support programs and services such as the Warrior and Family Support Center in San Antonio at BAMC. Additionally, huge gaps commonly exist before VA benefits begin for Wounded Warriors who return from Iraq or Afghanistan following combat injuries. The Texas Wounded Warrior Foundation assists wounded veterans and ensures that they and their families receive private sector support to help fill this gap. We also work closely with other agencies to provide needed services such as handicap upgrades to housing, transportation to and from medical appointments, and other needs.
We support our Warriors by hosting golf Events, Golf Schools, Weekend Retreats, Hunting, Fishing, & Comradery.
The horrors of combat can only be imagined by those of us who have never had these experiences, yet these imaginations can’t remotely compare with actual realities. Warriors are forced to endure these hardships, not to mention the strain of family separations and multiple deployments. Physical wounds can be widespread, encompassing traumatic brain injury, burns, spinal cord injury, and amputation, just to name a few. Emotional and mental injuries are even more numerous where the incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is alarmingly high with almost one in five Warriors returning from combat being diagnosed with this condition.
Additionally, suicides have increased dramatically in the last few years and are significantly higher in Warriors of recent war theaters compared with other veterans from previous wars (www.veteransandptsd.com/PTSD-statistics.html). To view an excellent additional resource reviewing this crippling condition, click here. While there are many government and non-profit institutions that perform wonderful services for these heroes, their needs continue to be paramount—many Wounded Warriors are still falling through the cracks and not receiving the help they deserve, despite widespread efforts. It is the desire of the Texas Wounded Warrior Foundation to seal as many of these cracks as possible and to be a significant resource for those Warriors in need.