By Russell Colburn
DESTIN, Fla. (WALA) - A blind Army veteran who was injured overseas competes in a golf tournament to raise funds for Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, the agency that renders aid to him and his family.
Staff Sergeant Aaron Hale, an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) soldier, was serving in Afghanistan in December 2011 when an IED detonated in his face. The injury permanently blinded him. Since the accident, FHEC has housed Hale and his family while he undergoes treatments on Eglin Air Force Base.
In an effort to give back to FHEC, Hale played in the Fairways for Fisher House, a charity golf tournament presented by InDyne.
"We had a lot of fun," Hale said. "I don’t know if I played very well, but they told me I did alright.”
FHEC executive director Kim Henderson expects to raise around $40,000 the fundraiser. Aside from the tournament, there was also a gala Thursday night at the Bayview Club on Eglin Air Force Base.
She called having Hale participate in the tournament an "amazing opportunity."
"Not only is it inspirational for the golfers to see someone like Aaron out here, but it shows them directly where their money goes," Henderson said. "His family has been with us for four months, so he can truly tell the story of how important the Fisher House is and how important it is to him.”
For Hale, he says he didn't have to play great to have a great time.
"I was out with friends, got to goof off a little bit, and got to raise some money for the Fisher House foundation," Hale said. "I can’t ask for a better day than that.”
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski