Founded in 2014, American Patriots 501 (c) is a Veteran outreach non-profit organization located in El Paso, TX. With well over 44,000 veterans living in El Paso, the agency’s vision is to assist mentally ill veterans transitioning into the civilian sector, by providing rehabilitative services through recreational activities, group therapies, and family-friendly events.
American Patriots has a long—term sustainability plan to acquire Shadow Mountain Lake, which is a lake surrounded by 4,000 acres of land in the outskirts of El Paso, Texas. The location would become the heart of a nationwide retreat for mentally ill veterans and their families.
The Board of Directors is currently working with investors and conducting negotiations to acquire much-needed land.
Accomplishments: Golf Clinic
For the past three years, American-Patriots has coordinated a successful program called Golf Clinic, where veterans transitioning to the civilian sector, are paired with collegiate golfteams from across the nation. This program is free to veterans and they are encouraged to bring their spouse and adult children. The event also includes a free breakfast and lunch with student-athletes. Collegiate teams from Arizona State University, San Jose State, the University of Texas at El Paso, West Point, Air Force Academy, Washington State University, Idaho State, and many more college golf teams visit Butterfield Trail in El Paso, Texas to coach veterans. The college athletes train the veterans on the driving range using various A-Z golfing techniques including, – driving, putting, form, and pitching. Some of the veterans have never played golf, so they are very excited and motivated to learn how to play.
A bond is built between the university golfers and veterans that are courteous and friendly, yet professional. At the end of the day, each veteran receives a swag bag, which is full of gear—t-shirts, hats, mugs, and stickers of their favorite college team. The veterans leave the event feeling a sense of self-worth and fulfillment. Local media station KFOX is there to catch the action.
The following day the college teams compete and play a golf tournament. Veterans who participated the day before are welcome to join the event at no charge. The veterans are encouraged to cheer on the college team that coached them the day before. The tournament gets very competitive and exciting for the veterans attending, as they have invested time and energy into the sport. Some of the veterans begin to explore golfing as a leisure activity after the event is over.