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Story on Sergeant Joey Bozik, U.S. Army, and love of golf.

In October 2004 Sergeant Joey Bozik was in Iraq and riding in the passenger seat of a Hummer, when the front right tire ran over a bomb planted in the road by insurgents. Joey came home without his legs, right hand and his left hand severely damaged. To date, Joey is just one of 11,400 soldiers that have returned home from Afghanistan and Iraq disabled.

Today, Joey is receiving therapy at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC. Joey is determined that he will play golf once again. The community, The National Alliance for Accessible Golf, and Project GAIN all salute Sergeant Bozik.


How Paths Cross: Sergeant Joey Bozik and The National Alliance for Accessible Golf

In August 2004 Larry Burkhart the CEO of Nevada County Resource and Development Center invited Patrick Yates, President of USA Golf to be the guest on his KNCO weekly radio program in Grass Valley, California. The hour long interview was about the golf products Patrick has invented and his involvement with the disabled community and the great game of golf. This radio program led to the following introductions:

Dave and Cyndy Aldous are involved in two different organizations, "Soldiers Angels" and "Friends of Nevada County Military" that give support to our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. In October 2004 they learned about Joey from the Soldiers Angels website and they have corresponded with Joey's mother, Gail, on a regular basis. In February 2005, Cyndy was telling a friend about this remarkable 26 year old who returned from Iraq with no legs and no right hand and Joey's determination and optimism to live a normal life and his greatest dream was to play golf once again. Cyndy's friend reported that she heard the above mentioned radio program.

Cyndy and Dave Aldous made contact with Patrick and Juanita Yates and learned that people with all different types of disabilities played golf and there were devices and programs available that make it possible for those that are disabled to be independent in playing the game.

At this meeting the topic of "How can we get this young man back into the game of golf" was discussed.

One of the first ideas was to send Joey golf gift package. Included in the package was an EZT Golf Ball Feeder, Cookie Cutter Game, Pathfinder, Chairman T-up Club, special made putters and golf clubs. One week after this meeting, Joey received his package.


More Community Support for Joey and his desire to return to the Links

Merrill DuBach lives on a golf course near Sacramento, California. Parkinson's disease made walking difficult for Merrill to play golf. In August 2004, Merrill participated in a golf program at Haggin Oaks Golf Course to learn to drive and play golf off a Model Tee single riding golf car, developed by Patrick and Phillip Yates. In September 2004, Merrill's wife, Peggy Lee, purchased a Model Tee so Merrill could continue to enjoy the game he loved.

February 2005, Merrill and Peggy Lee contacted Patrick and Juanita Yates, stating that due to advance Parkinson's disease he could no longer play golf and therefore did not need the Model Tee car anymore.

Patrick and Juanita Yates returned the DuBach's correspondence with the idea of donating the Model Tee to Joey. Merrill replied, "I can't think of a better use for the Model Tee and what can we do to get it to him?"

March 2005, To honor and show appreciation to Merrill DuBach and Joey Bozik, a special crate signing ceremony was held at the Haggin Oaks Golf Club in Sacramento, California. Several individuals were present to sign and offer the support to Joey and to honor Merrill for his generosity.


The Final Chapter (?)

Further community support was provided by The American River Packaging Company of Sacramento. They provided the cardboard box that was used during the crate signing ceremonies and that will be used to ship the Model Tee. Yellow Freight arranged and provided for all shipping and delivery of the Model Tee from Sacramento to Baltimore Maryland. The General Manager of Yellow Freight delivered the Model Tee to The Timbers at Troy Golf Course in Elkridge, Maryland for the uncrating ceremony.

Good Luck Joey and thanks to the community at large for all their support.

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