Reunion at Reunion

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As a coach I get to work with Extraordinary People. It is truly a benefit that I didnt consider when I discovered this vocation. Coaching could change the lives of the majority of the population, yet a very small percentage of people are the ones who show up. 

I would like to think that after 18 years of coaching thousands of people, I have made a difference in many of their lives. I would like to think that, but I know without a doubt they have made a huge difference in mine. I know I am a very different person than I was when I started out. Spending time with Extraordinary People has that kind of effect on you.


Last summer the Club Foundation asked if I would attend an event in Florida in January called Reunion at Reunion. It was an event put on by a wonderful organization called Tee it up for the Troops. In the next six months I had a number of phone calls with Tim Wegscheid and Jodi Baer explaining the concept of the event. They told me that when military personnel are in war zones they have combat buddies. They form an extraordinary bond and their lives depend upon it. When one of them gets hurt they are shipped off for treatment and it is not unusual that they might never see each other again. One of the things this organization does is an event to bring these people back together. They create a wonderful environment around the game of golf where truly amazing things happen. Their vision is to help wounded veterans do these four things.


Heal, Transition, Grow, and Thrive.


There were about 35 reunions. There were caregivers, sponsors, and support from Tee it up for the Troops. The group was small enough that it was possible to spend time with everyone over the four days of the event. It was amazing to watch people show up in whatever stage of healing, transitioning, growing, or thriving they were in, and then see changes throughout the four days.


They shared their stories. They were back with people who understood them. They were not alone. They were laughing and having fun. They were playing a game that some said saved their lives. They were being honored, appreciated, and taken care of.


I met them. I spent time with them. I heard their stories. I was with them in laughter and in tears. I saw their strength and sometimes it showed up in vulnerability. They were open about their pain and their limitations. They were changing because of the experience.


It was an amazing event. The veterans got so much and I cant imagine that many left without being changed by the experience.


I was changed. Here are some of the things I learned.



We all need to understand perspective. The problems that most of us face pale in comparison to what some of the people I met face. The problems they face sometimes pale in comparison to people they know with much bigger problems. What kind of power do we give to our challenges? What kind of fuel do we get from focusing on our blessings?



Although I was hanging out with tough military people who might see love as a soft, pathetic emotion, I saw so much love. I saw the love they had for each other. I saw the love they gave and received from their caregivers. I saw love of country. I saw love doing what they did. I saw love for the person there beside them.



The game of golf has been a passion of mine since I was 12 years old. I have worked in and around golf for most of my adult life. I love the game, but I saw it differently at this event. I truly saw that lives can be changed by a game. Things could be said on a golf cart that might not be said in a classroom or a coaching session. I learned that it can be played with one arm, no legs, an injured brain, and little experience. It creates magic!



There are so many people that care about and care for wounded veterans. There are people and organizations doing things that blew me away. There are also the caregivers who married these men and women. In most cases the person they married is different than the one who came home. I had the chance to understand their challenges. I had the chance to see their strength. These people are true heroes.



Isolation is the enemy. Get help! Get moving! Get out there!



The idea that you would never want to let your team down is such an understatement with this group of people. The loyalty to go back and be injured for the second or third time was what I saw.


Common Ground

We live in a world where the idea that if you are not like me, you must be wrong or bad. The opposite was exhibited here. It didnt matter if you were Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or a Reservist. It didnt matter if you were male or female, black or white, born in this country or born somewhere else. Everyone was a human being doing the best they could to live a good life and give a good life to their families.



I saw the power of not stopping until the mission is accomplished.



The displays of gratitude for these men and women and from these men and women will not soon be forgotten.


An Open Mind

When we have an open mind we can learn from everyone. When our mind is closed it is hard to learn from anyone.


I am sure I have not come close to conveying the respect I have for everyone involved in this event. I hope I have conveyed the gratitude I have for being asked to participate.

KevinKevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA and can be reached at 1-866-822-3481 toll free. 


Posted by Will Flourance at 04/03/2018 01:00:42 PM |