Resident Feature

Invest in HOPE

When I enlisted in 2005, I brought my golf clubs to my first duty station. While we were deployed to Iraq, the following summer, I found a pitching wedge and range balls on base and practiced between missions. I was wounded in combat, twice, and received the Purple Heart Award, twice. During my rehabilitation, while stationed in Alaska, I played golf under the midnight sun and recovered. After deciding to reenlist in 2008, I was reassigned to Ft. Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, of all places. My overseas service continued as duty called again. In 2010, I was deployed to Afghanistan. I didn’t have golf clubs, but I watched the tour from down range, and dreamed of playing back home. The commanding officer asked what my plans were after being honorably discharged in 2010, and I told him I was heading to San Diego to pursue golf. 

The transition to civilian life was good, but I allowed unhealthy choices and obstacles to hinder my goal. Having experienced such significant loss in battle, I believed everything to be impermanent, lost focus and drive. I idled away until the fateful day. During the 2020 PGA Championship, San Francisco Police Officer Kennedy called me, (as Colin Morikawa was taming Harding Park) saying he saw a PGA HOPE commercial and recommended that I sign up for the classes. I paid heed to the sound advice of a childhood school friend and looked into the PGA HOPE program. From the moment of that auspicious phone call my life returned to me. Being a good paratrooper, I took the opportunity as a leap of faith, and haven’t looked back. 

In 2020, I invested my time in the classes, and became a PGA HOPE Graduate. I invested myself in the play days, and in 2021, I became a captain. I invested in being a captain and was invited to the PGA HOPE Secretary’s Cup. I invested in relationships and acquired a position at a PGA HOPE golf course, and now work at Metropolitan Golf Links. The golf event was a huge success, thanks to the helpful contributions from donors. Now, as an Instructor, I invest adaptive golf training to nearly three different PGA HOPE classes, to dozens of veterans. I am an affiliate in the PGA Associate Program working towards obtaining membership in PGA of America as a PGA golf professional, so I can continue to Help Our Patriots Everywhere.

By Ramsey Raher US Army – 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division Operation Iraqi Freedom – Purple Heart