Inaugural golf tournament aids Wounded Warriors

FAIRBANKS-On Friday morning golfers journeyed out to the Northstar Golf Club for a few hours of playing a game they love. These golfers were also playing for those who don't have the opportunity to play that much or at all anymore because of their sacrifices.

Homes For Our Troops, started in 2004, is an organization that builds new homes to accomodate Wounded Warriors with special needs at no cost to the veteran. The Interior did their part with the inaugural Homes For Our Troops golf tournamennt at the North Star Golf Club.

One of the golfers participating was Jacque Keesler. Keesler was deployed from Alaska in 2005. In 2006 he was in an IED explosion and lost both of this legs. Keesler has benefited from Homes For Our Troops.

"Boy they just do such a good job. They built me a house down in San Diego and I moved in there a couple a years and just loving it. I'm retired now and I do what I can. I try to give back," Keesler said.

Netty Colleado, wife a veteran, came up with the idea for this event. Her husband was also in the same unit as Keesler in 2006.

"I had an epiphany on the way to work one day and it was just that quick. The next thing you know boom. My fantasy became a reality," Colleado said.

"Netty Colleado and Frank Colleado-he was my platoon sergeant over in Iraq, she said she wanted to do a tournament and raise money for Homes For Our Troops and that's why were out here," Keesler said.

Melinda Evans is one of the owners of the North Star Golf Club and was impressed with the turnout.

"It's always hard the first year of a tournament to get a huge response. There's a lot going on for a lot of people over Labor Day weekend so it's great for the people who chose to participate."

Other local golfers enjoyed coming out to support troops here and abroad. James Logan Lye was born and raised in Fairbanks and decided that this should be the second charity golf tournament he should be a part of.

"My step-brother is in the Air Force right now and he's over in Iraq. He's kind of one of the reasons that I do this but everybody-for all the troops. I'm a big supporter of the troops and I'm here to support them," Lye said.

"I'm a veteran and my father is a vietnam veteran [with] multiple years at war so I'm out here to support the veterans and Wounded Warriors," local golfer Wayne Simpson said.

The grand prize was a trip for two to the Traditions Golf Course in Palm Springs as well as other prizes like golf clubs and the like. 28 two man teams signed up in the first year. Colleado hopes to make it a state-wide event next year. The tournament was put all together in just six weeks.

For information visit Homes For Our Troops website-https://www.hfotusa.org/