Testimonials

 

Sgt. Tim Lang

United States Marine Corp (Retired)

 

 

Tim Lang is one of SMGA's most recognized members. Sergeant Lang was the turret gunner on a Humvee patrolling in Fallujah, Iraq, in October 2006, when his vehicle was hit by a roadside IED. Lang was an athlete growing up and came from a highly competitive family of 12. "Golf itself pretty much finished what doctors were able to start," he said. "It made a world of difference mentally, emotionally physically. It became my satisfaction. I was able to feel like a human being again. It gave me the self confidence that I missed for so long." Tim represented the SMGA and was an honorary captain for the 2011 Solheim Cup team.

 

Staff Sgt. Ramon Padilla

United States Army (Retired)

 

 

Ramon Padilla Jr. was born in Tijuana, Mexico, and grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of El Monte, Calif. On July 8, 2007, Padilla and members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade were into their 45th day of service in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, when an RPG blew up in front of him. Shrapnel from the RPG severed his lower left arm, and he was struck by a round on the front right side of his head that broke a piece of his skull. He did his full recovery at Walter Reed and was medically retired in September 2009. Ramon credits the game of golf as saving his life saying, "It’s a big part of my life and who I am now. It has helped me believe in myself and I became a better man...[and] once you achieve something, as simple as hitting a ball high into the air, you can feel you can do anything".

 

First Lieutenant Brian Donarski

United States Army (Retired)

 

 

First Lieutenant “Ski” Donarski served 10-and-a-half years in the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1998. On September 11, 2001, he waived his VA benefits, and in 2004, he re-enlisted in the United States Army.
In 2005, First Lieutenant Donarski was seriously wounded during combat in Anbar Province, Iraq. He suffered from a traumatic brain injury, PTSD and a stable burst fracture in his neck and back. He lost vision in his right eye, which requires the use a prosthetic soft lens, and has had surgeries on both shoulders.

Brian credits the game of golf as helping him in his recovery, "I know golf is a healer because the world was too busy when I came back and I was injured. Golf put me in a slow-motion to allow me to rehabilitate at the pace I needed to rehabilitate instead of trying to speed up everything. My body needed time, and golf taught me that."