Fairways for Freedom™ was founded by Roger Schiffman, former Golf Digest Managing Editor, and his wife, Dr. Patricia Donnelly, an Educational Sport Psychotherapist. Fairways for Freedom™, a 501 (c) (3) Public Charity, conducts trips for combat-injured veterans to Ireland, Scotland and other incredible destinations as a way of helping them recover from their injuries.
The veterans are sponsored on these trips by “Ambassador/Donors” who host the veterans throughout the week, playing some of the world’s greatest golf courses and creating everlasting bonds along the way. The trips are much more than golf, however, with the veterans participating in other therapeutic sessions, including yoga specifically designed for those with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Schiffman and Dr. Donnelly have conducted six international trips and have impacted more than 70 combat-injured veterans. They have two trips scheduled for this September—one to Scotland, one to NW Ireland—with a total of 23 veterans and 16 ambassadors. Veterans can also be sponsored by those who are not able to go on the trips.
Many U.S. veterans struggle with physical disabilities, including loss of limbs, and with mental-health issues such as PTSD and TBI. The shocking reality is that 20 U.S. veterans take their own lives every day of the year. The Fairways for Freedom™ program strives to help by providing combat-injured veterans with instruction and practice in evidence-informed, clinically tested, self-regulation techniques; opportunities for therapeutic, recreational, and community-building social activities; training on healthy lifestyle choices; and education about community-based veterans resources for post-retreat reintegration. Creating opportunities for camaraderie and bonding can really make a difference.
One of the goals of Fairways for Freedom™ is connecting leaders in the business community with combat-injured veterans through the game of golf, thereby easing their transition into the civilian world. Business professionals serve as mentors to the veterans, and, in turn, learn what true sacrifice is all about. Great courses in extremely beautiful locations provide an exhilarating and relaxing environment for building these relationships.
Ed Medeiros-CEO, East Commerce Solutions, Inc., Roger Schiffman-Founder & Director, Fairways for Freedom, Dr. Patricia Donnelly-Sport Psychotherapist & Co- Founder of Fairways for Freedom and John Girouard-Retired U.S. Army Sergeant, Purple Heart recipient, combat-injured veteran, joined us on set Tuesday to discuss ways we can get involved.
If you’d like to learn more about Fairways for Freedom™ or to make a contribution and help a combat-injured veteran participate on one of its trips or other retreats, you can visit www.fairwaysforfreedom.us.