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How Fairways for Warriors is helping combat veterans heal: 'Complete life changer'

"I've never felt safer."
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Posted at 11:16 AM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 11:22:02-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Mastering golf from the tee box to the green can test your patience.

Since picking up a club two years ago Joshua Grim plays as much as he can.

"Its the hardest thing I've ever done. Honestly," said Josh. "It helps you set goals. It helps you work on the mental aspects of life."

While the PGA tour winds through Pebble Beach and Augusta, members of his foursome once toured places like Fallujah and Baghdad.

Fairways for Warriors is helping combat veterans like Josh heal their PTSD.

"I didn't even know I had anything wrong with me. I had my friends tell me maybe you should go see somebody or whatever," said Josh.

Deployed to Iraq three times, Josh says surrounding himself with fellow service members creates a safe environment.

"You got to talk about it. You can't keep it to yourself," he added.

Fairways Chaplain Roy Bell says hidden wounds lead to 22 veterans suicides every day.

"This has been a complete life changer for me," said Roy. "Fairways makes it easy to be part of a family. It is a sense of comfort being around others that understand."

Desert Storm Navy veteran Lynn Humbard says Fairways can be a lifesaver.

"We all know and trust that relationship because we've all been through stuff," said Lynn. "It's a lot easier for me to talk to someone like Roy because he has experienced it."

The bunkers at Royal New Kent present different hazards than Iraq War veteran and novice golfer Matthew Speirs faced on the battlefield.

"Its a team exercise. It is team building," said Matthew. "A single thread of rope breaks easily. But when you bring together people like that you build rope thicker, so it doesn't break."

Josh Grim says scores, slices and skill level don’t matter at Fairways for Warriors.

"I've never felt safer," said Josh. "We don't care if you top it. We're going to cheer for you. We're going to get you excited about the next shot. You're not keeping score. We just want you to have a stress free day."

Richmond’s Chapter Director says what’s most important is a veteran taking a swing at finding inner peace.

Fairways for Warriors is holding a fundraiser Saturday, September 12 at The First Tee's Chesterfield Golf Course. For information contact mark@thefirstteerva.org.

Greg McQuade features local heroes in a weekly “Heroes Among Us” segment. Watch Greg’s reports Thursdays on CBS News at 6 or here on WTVR.com. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured on “Heroes Among Us,” click here to email heroes@wtvr.com.

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