"When I first became disabled, all I could think about was what I couldn’t do. Hines [VA Medical Center] and golf have taught me to focus on my abilities, not my disabilities."
- Judy Ruiz,
Marine Corps veteran
Legally blind and veterans with life-changing disabilities are given an opportunity to develop new skills and challenge their perceived limitations through adaptive golf, bowling, fishing and other activities. The tournament uses a therapeutic format to promote rehabilitation, fellowship and camaraderie among the Veterans attending.
Participants include both men and women Veterans of all age groups with a variety of disabilities.
In 1994, the National Disabled Veterans TEE Tournament sprang to life as the brainchild of several employees of the Iowa City VA Medical Center, along with two visually impaired Iowa Veterans. These visionaries created the TEE Tournament, an acronym standing for TRAINING, EXPOSURE and EXPERIENCE.
In 2008, it became one of VA’s six national rehabilitation programs for Veterans. The event expanded to include not only blind Veterans, but amputees, wheelchair-bound Veterans, and those with other life changing disabilities.
The expansion became a reality as a result of the establishment of the G.I.V.E. Foundation (Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere), a partnership with the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, the Iowa contingent of the Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA), and the Iowa City VA Medical Center. Instructors from the Iowa State PGA and the National Amputee Golf Association provide golf instruction to all of the Veterans at special clinics. For Veterans from coast to coast, this event continues to grow each year in both its level of involvement and popularity.