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Washington, U.S.A. — For Major Justin Constantine, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, the sport of golf literally helped save his life. After being shot in Iraq while on patrol in 2006, he suffered severe facial damage, a visual impairment, and a traumatic brain injury. After receiving a Purple Heart, Constantine began to play golf as part of the Disabled Sports USA Warfighter Sports program.
As a result of his involvement with the sport, he is now “back in the fight,” working as part of a counterterrorism team with the Department of Justice, giving motivational speeches, and participating in numerous regional golf events.
Recently, he, and more than 22 other wounded warriors, teamed up with 50 former and current Members of Congress, who belong to the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC), to participate in the Congressional Charity Golf Classic, which raises funds for service members suffering from wounds both seen and unseen.
When it comes to supporting the nation’s warfighters, Republicans and Democrats’ partisanship generally goes by the wayside. For the more than 600 Former Members of Congress who belong to FMC, and donate their time and experience—pro bono—to help others, both in the U.S. and around the world, service is in their DNA. And, while politicians may not enjoy the best reputation, these former Senators’ and Representatives’ volunteer outreach efforts have helped raise more than $250,000 for wounded warriors, enabling them to heal their minds and bodies through sports.
According to FMC tournament co-chairman, Dennis Hertel (D-MI), the fifth annual golf event is another example of how FMC members answer the call to service. “Over the past 42 years, FMC has engaged more than 600 former Members in countless projects that enable them to continue to serve even after they leave Washington,” Hertel said, “We hope that the American people will realize that the majority of Members got into this business for all the right reasons.
We care deeply about the issues that face our country, and consider service to be our life-long mission. And, we are very proud to be able to support our nation’s service members through innovative programs like this.”