Colorado PGA REACH Partners to Donate Home to Hero
Sergeant Chris Hardesty Receives Keys to New Home - 6/29/2017
The opening ceremonies of the 2017 Colorado PGA REACH Invitational held great pomp and circumstance with a backdrop of the majestic Pikes Peak, the presentation of the colors by the Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard, the singing of the national anthem and the awarding of a mortgage-free home to a deserving wounded veteran.
Through the support of one of the three pillars of the Colorado PGA REACH Foundation – Supporting Our Military – the foundation partnered with the Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Homes 4 Wounded Heroes Program to change the life of worthy veteran. The goal of the Military Pillar, which seeks to improve the physical, mental and social rehabilitation of military heroes, closely matches that of the Homes 4 Wounded Heroes Program making the single-focused collaboration a win-win for all involved.
“This is an incredible opportunity to honor our veterans,” said Eddie Ainsworth, PGA, executive director/CEO of the Colorado PGA. “This is our second year of working with the Homes 4 Wounded Heroes Program and for making one of our heroes feel special.”
Former U.S. Army Sergeant Chris Hardesty is a man of few words but expressed his gratitude to the field of tournament golfers by saying, “This is tremendous to me. I’m now a first-time home owner. This is a whole new life for me and my family. I don’t think I could ask for a better gift…it is beyond words.”
Hardesty and his family will relocate to Pueblo, Colo., from Hemet, Calif., in the coming weeks. His immediate plans are to complete the remaining 10-months of classes necessary to complete his bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and then get a position working for the veteran’s association.
“I’m really excited about moving to Colorado,” continued Hardesty. “I love to hike and mountain bike. Although I have never hunted or golfed, I hope to take up both of them once we are settled into our new home.”
After 9/11, Hardesty knew he wanted to do something for his country and thought the Army was the best path for him to make a difference. He wanted to do what he could for the effort and chose combat arms as his way to serve. As a Cavalry Scout, Hardesty was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 where he was injured while on patrol when the M-ATC he was traveling in was attacked by and IED. He has earned the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Metal and the NATO Medal, to name a few of the awards that have been bestowed upon him.
“The mission of the Military Warrior Support Foundation is to assistance combat veterans as they come out of the military and into their new lives,” said Casey Kinser, senior vice president of the MWSF. “Our primary focus is housing and we have provided almost 800 homes in 42 states to combat-wounded veterans. The program also provides three years of family and financial mentoring to make sure they have all of the skills needed to handle this new, incredible asset.”
According to Kinser, the golfing community has been incredibly supportive of the Homes 4 Wounded Heroes Program providing monetary contributions, as well as events to honor heroes and to present them with their homes.
“The golfing community is a very giving and patriotic community,” concluded Kinser.
The donation of the home was made possible by Eric Kenealy, Message Envy, and Bob and Millie Longmire, as well as all of the member professionals and amateurs who participated in the 2017 Colorado PGA REACH Invitational.