Veterans helping veterans heal, one golf club at a time

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on April 4, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 4 at 5:40 PM

LAKEWOOD, Wash. - When retired Army sergeant Major Hal Beaver returned from Vietnam he didn't get a lot of respect.

"I was called every name imaginable," said Beaver, "I was called a baby killer. That's the kind of support I got."

Beaver, and other Vietnam-era veterans, is making sure today's soldiers returning from overseas get much more than that.

Working out of a shed at the American Lake Veterans Golf Course, volunteer veterans make up "Area 51."

It's a charity that refurbishes donated golf equipment to be given to wounded warriors, free of charge.

"They've already given a lot," said Beaver, "I think we should give them back something."

Bernie Housden, who served in Vietnam while in the Air Force, was one of the founders of the charity six years ago.

"We've had some real tear-jerkers," said Housden, when asked what the reaction is from the soldiers.

Housden said many of the recipients are wounded warriors who use rounds of golf as forms of physical and emotional therapy.

They've had donations from across the state and the country.

"Clean your garage out and send it to us. We'll put it to use," said Housden.

To support "Area 51" email Housden at BEWA07@comcast.net

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