The Lake Sumter, Florida, community is preparing for the annual Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Open Classic later this year, and aside from giving area residents a chance to see some of the best golfers in the world, the event has a much greater cause. The tournament is expected to raise money for the local Habitat for Humanity to build a transitional home for wounded soldiers, the Daily Commercial reports.
The home is expected to be built in Leesburg on land that was donated to the Morrison United Methodist Church. Organizers hope to raise about $650,000 from an event held after the tournament, which concludes on Veteran's Day. The main fundraiser is a pro-am tournament where 72 amateurs get to play with 18 professionals. While Habitat usually targets lower-income families, Kent Adcock, the organization's CEO, says helping out vets should be a priority.
"With the atmosphere and climate the way it is now with our veterans, they need our support and they need resource assistance," Adcock told the newspaper. "We want to address the housing the needs and provide housing solutions for returning veterans or disabled veterans."
Helping veterans transition from combat back to civilian life is a priority for many politicians as well. Most recently, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke to lawmakers about the importance of helping veterans who have mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects many as 20 percent of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.
Furthermore, the need for housing may become increasingly important as more soldiers come home from overseas. As many as 1 million troops may leave the military by 2017.
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