Jeremy Beachner is passionate about golf and helping members of the military.

And now he’s putting those two passions together. Beachner, a Tri-Cities-based teaching pro, is leading the local efforts for a program called PGA HOPE, which brings veterans to the golf course to teach them the game and help enhance their mental, social and physical well being.

“For a few years, I thought there was a need to help veterans in the Tri-Cities,” Beachner said. “I feel like I need to help. I had a calling to do this.”

PGA HOPE is a national program of PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is also involved.

The local program, with Beachner and other local pros contributing, is being held at Pine Oaks Golf Course in Johnson City. It starts May 10 and runs every Tuesday through June 21. A graduation ceremony will be held June 21 for those who complete the program.

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The program is free to any veterans, and participants will be provided with golf clubs if they don’t have them.

The VA reports that an average of 20 veterans commit suicide every day. That’s why Beachner, who has a brother in the Marine Corps, wants to be involved.

“That’s a horrible stat,” Beachner said. “I feel like we need to do something to help transition veterans back into our community. Hopefully we can take that stat down to zero. I really just want to help the people who are fighting for us.

“I’m not going to know a single veteran who comes to this camp, but I’ll thank every single one of them. We’ll have some fun.”

To register for the program, call Beachner at (423) 839-5706 or email him at jabeachner@gmail.com.

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