Grabowski golfs in TEE Tournament James Grabowski, a 68-year-old visually impaired veteran from Vermillion, golfed the sixth annual Training, Exposure, Experience (TEE) Tournament for Blinded Veterans in Iowa City, IA, hosted by the Iowa City VA Medical Center from Sept. 14-16. The Iowa City Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) organized the TEE Tournament which gives blinded veterans at all levels of sight impairment opportunities for travel, golf, bowling, and leisure activities. This event was cosponsored by the Blinded Veterans Association and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Grabowski, an Air Force veteran, was one of 110 legally blind veterans who participated in three days of activities, including a bowling clinic and Casino Night in addition to golfing. Tournament competitors not only learned new sporting skills, but also increased their independence and self-esteem through their accomplishments.
The Iowa City VAMC recruited over 230 volunteers and transportation drivers, golf buddies, and food servers. The army of volunteers helped make this a total experience for men and women from 25 states, Florida to California. The Department of Veterans Affairs, VISN 14, and the Blinded Veterans Association sponsored the event. It was also supported by the U.S. Golf Association, American Legion of Iowa Foundation, and various other veterans service organizations. Local businesses donated prizes and equipment, including the golf courses, green fees, and lessons.
VA has been a leader in blind rehabilitation and the development of sensory and prosthetic research. Through its rehabilitation centers, specialized clinics, and Visual Impairment Services (VIS), veterans and their families are assisted with mobility, communication, and independent living skills training while adjusting to their blindness.