Bunkers in Baghdad shipped its two millionth golf ball this month, marking a major milestone of giving for the young organization dedicated to collecting and supplying new and used golf equipment to U.S. soldiers. The donated golf equipment provides troops in combat zones abroad and in wounded warriors programs across the country with a much-needed recreational outlet as well as an enjoyable rehabilitation aid during recovery from injuries.
In just over two and a half years, Bunkers in Baghdad has collected and shipped two million golf balls and over 50,000 clubs to active military members and veterans in all 50 states and 11 countries — thanks to a rapidly growing national base of volunteers and organizers, along with partnerships with professional sports franchises, PGA pros and companies including Callaway Golf.
Joseph M. Hanna, founder and president of the Buffalo-based Bunkers in Baghdad and a partner at Goldberg Segalla, noted that while reaching the two-million mark is a sign of success, it is by no means a point on which to rest. “As word spreads about the real and positive impact our efforts are having on the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our freedom, donations and involvement are increasing daily across the country,” Hanna said. “It’s an inspiring testament to the way small gestures by many can add up to make a huge difference.”
“We won’t stop here,” Hanna added. “We’ll continue our outreach and keep finding new ways to help our troops with their recreation and rehabilitation — and in so doing, to keep giving them a little slice of home.”
Bunkers in Baghdad’s many efforts to support U.S. troops have also included setting up a driving range in Afghanistan; organizing an annual golf tournament with an auction of celebrity-autographed memorabilia; and creating the successful Bunkers Buddies program, in which children from schools across the country hold equipment drives and send shipments accompanied by personal letters of appreciation to soldiers overseas, often to members of their own families or their classmates’ families.