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Golf therapy for soldiers

James Gruening taking a solid swing at golf. Gruening suffered severe injuries to his entire body in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan. He was told he would never walk again, let alone play golf. He is always in pain, but golf keeps him going. Submitted photo.

James Gruening taking a solid swing at golf. Gruening suffered severe injuries to his entire body in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan. He was told he would never walk again, let alone play golf. He is always in pain, but golf keeps him going. Submitted photo.

— Over 800 soldiers have participated in the program so far. That interest is a testament to its effectiveness, Dorchak said.

“Every one of them will say that golf has helped them recuperate a lot quicker than anything else they would have done in physical therapy,” he said. “In the combat zone, what do you have? You have dust, smoke, sand and smells getting all around you with brown and grey. What do you have on a golf course? The green grass, birds singing … white clouds and blue sky.”

There is no cost to the wounded warriors and they are given a set of clubs and a green jacket upon completion of the program.

For more information on the Salute Military Golf Association or the upcoming tournament, visit smga-ny.org.

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