“It’s a very simple idea,” Goldberg Segalla’s Joseph M. Hanna, founder and president of Bunkers in Baghdad, said in an interview with the Golf Channel’s Golf Today about creating the Buffalo-based nonprofit. “I was watching a news program and they showed the troops hitting golf clubs into the desert. … A couple months later, I read an article by David Feherty in Golf Magazine that said the troop’s favorite form of stress relief is hitting golf balls in the desert. I said, you know what, the least I can do is get some golf balls and golf clubs together and ship them overseas and here we are.”
Bunkers in Baghdad is a nonprofit that helps our troops by collecting and sending new and used golf balls, clubs, and equipment to U.S. troops in over 70 countries around the world. Since its inception in 2008, Bunkers has collected and shipped nearly 12 million golf balls and nearly 1 million golf clubs. The charity also established the program, “Bunkers Buddies,” for schoolchildren across the country, with children packing and shipping boxes filled with balls, cards, and letters they write to the soldiers.
In the interview, Joe shared how he’s seen golf change the lives of service men and women and stories of veterans who fell in love with the game through Bunkers in Baghdad.
“We’ve been fortunate to partner with great companies, golfers, and some past presidents as well to aid in the recreation and rehabilitation of our brave men and women, and our veterans and warriors around the world as well,” Joe said. “We’ve been able to get the clubs in the hands of these brave men and women through VA hospitals and various organizations, and we’ve introduced them to a game that they never would have been introduced to before. So not only have we been able to assist in their rehabilitation with physical therapists across the country, but also in terms of the recreational aspect of the things, them picking up a game they never thought or dreamed of ever playing, and them jumping in with both feet and really loving it.”
“Bunkers in Baghdad Brings Golf to Deployed Troops,” Golf Today, February 14, 2021
With a national practice and industry-wide reputation for leadership, Joseph M. Hanna is consistently ranked among the top 10 attorneys based in Western New York in Business First’s annual Legal Elite, and in 2015, Joe was the youngest honoree ever to be named Lawyer of the Year in the Bar Association of Erie County’s 130-year history. Joe is also a leading voice for diversity in the legal and business communities. He is chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Diversity Task Force and has held multiple leadership roles in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) as well as diversity-related positions within the American Bar Association (ABA), DRI, and other organizations.