- May 19, 2021
Army Capt. Bobby Withers looked over the long line of golf carts, stuffed with people who came to the Homes For Our Troops benefit golf tournament at the Rosedale Golf and Country Club on Saturday, Jan. 30.
Simply put, he could feel the love.
Withers lost his right leg and much of his left leg when he stepped on a land mine during an enemy attack at Bagram Airbase on May 29, 2010.
"It's easy to come home and feel forgotten," said Withers, who was presented a new home in Winter Garden last November by Homes For Our Troops. "Today reminds you what you went over there for. It's incredible. Your time is your most valuable resource and it is something you can't get back. These folks could be doing anything else today.
"It is fantastic that a community like this has our back."
Tournament volunteer Bill Kennedy noted, "It works both ways."
Indeed, tournament director Kathi Skelton noted that the 132 tournament spots sold out in four days. "It's wonderful that the community has embraced this event," she said.
Along with Withers, Marine Corp. Josh Langston-White, of Crystal River, and Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Gordon, of Clermont, also played in the tournament and have been qualified in the program to receive new homes. Lanston-White lost both of his legs above the knee in Afghanistan and Gordon lost his right leg when a roadside bomb hit his vehicle in Iraq.
The Homes For Our Troops mission is "to build mortgage-free, specially adapted homes nationwide for severely injured veterans post-9/11, to enable them to rebuild their lives."