Grabowski golfs in veterans’ tourney

Grabowski golfs in veterans' tourney James Grabowski, Vermillion, a 68-year-old visually impaired veteran, golfed in the seventh annual Training, Exposure, Experience (TEE) Tournament for Blinded Veterans in Iowa City, IA, hosted by the Iowa City VA Medical Center Sept. 19-21.

The Iowa City Department of Veterans 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 co-sponsored by the Blinded Veterans Association and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Grabowski, an Air Force veteran, was one of 120 legally blind veterans who participated in three days of activities, including a bowling clinic and casino night in addition to the golfing. Tournament competitors not only learned new sporting skills, but also increased their independence and self-esteem through their accomplishments.

"This is my third TEE Tourney. I think it is an invaluable tool to strengthen my ability to get back into the mainstream of life," Grabowski said.

An army of volunteers helped make this a total experience for men and women veterans from 24 states, Florida to California. The Iowa City VAMC recruited 269 staff and community volunteers as transportation drivers, golf buddies, and food servers.

The TEE Tournament 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.

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