This month, Bunkers in Baghdad has reached a milestone unimagined when the organization launched in 2008. Founder Joseph M. Hanna will ship the group’s six millionth golf ball to soldiers serving overseas. What started as a simple idea – bring some recreation and a slice of home to our brave soldiers serving in active combat areas – now reaches soldiers in 32 countries around the world and wounded warriors in all 50 states.
Joe started Bunkers in Baghdad after learning that golf had become a favorite form of stress relief for soldiers serving in combat zones overseas. The group has also shipped more than 350,000 golf clubs since its launch.
“The generosity that Bunkers continues to receive astounds me,” said Hanna. “I continue to be amazed and incredibly grateful for the ongoing support from the teams, athletes, celebrities and thousands of individuals around the country who give so willingly to support our soldiers still deployed and our veterans recovering here at home.”
A number of sports franchises, charitable organizations and businesses — including two of the biggest names in golf – Callaway Golf and Arnold Palmer Enterprises – have provided major support over the years. Thousands of volunteers have helped collect equipment and raise money to pay for shipping overseas and around the country. Through our Bunkers Buddies program, we partner with 250 schools in 47 states, where students either collect equipment and send it to the organization, or write letters and draw pictures for our military heroes that are put in the shipments being sent overseas.
Joe is a partner at Goldberg Segalla, where he serves as Chair of the law firm’s Sports and Entertainment Law Practice Group, chair of the Diversity Task Force and editor of the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider blog. He was recognized as a Law360 Rising Star for 2014 – one of only five named in the Media and Entertainment category and one of just over 160 lawyers in the country to receive the award. He has also been given a Daily Point of Light Award, a national recognition created by the George H.W. Bush administration that honors individuals and groups for making meaningful change in their communities through voluntary action.