Veterans from around the country are in Broken Arrow for the PGA HOPE Secretary's Cup.
Twelve teams competed alongside professionals at The Club at Indian Springs on Monday in the tournament celebrating our heroes.
"It shows America, and it shows other veterans that disabilities don't have to hold you back. Your injuries don't have to keep you from doing anything. And that's what this is about,” said Chris Nowak, Military and Veteran Liaison for PGA of America.
It was a sea of red, white, and blue on the green for the Secretary's Cup. Themes of joy and remembrance echoed throughout the opening ceremony. There were sounds of clapping and laughter, and silence to honor families of fallen heroes.
The competition brought together 48 veterans from several states. U.S. Navy Veteran Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Cook is on the Oklahoma City team.
"In the military, we have our brothers and sisters in arms. So just to be able to come together as a group outside of the military, we still have that comradery as fellow service members,” Cook said.
The event is part of their rehabilitation program. Organizers say the golf tournament enhances their lives physically, emotionally, and mentally. Nowak says each veteran graduated from the PGA HOPE program. The program is a form of therapy approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Nowak says the game is for everyone, no matter skill-set or physical ability.
"It gives me an opportunity to give back, help other veterans heal as well as heal myself,” Nowak said.
U.S. Army Sergeant Mike Jaborek served in Iraq and was awarded a Purple Heart. He says his favorite part about this event is the friendships that will last beyond it.
“It's a tremendous honor. From the course to the people, to the PGA rolling us out, it feels like you're getting a red carpet. It's just an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Jaborek said.