Selfridge Valor Cup Golf Event Helps Give Hope to Female Veteran Combat Medic
HARRISON TOWNSHIP – Britani Lafferty is 10 years removed but still dealing with the 15 months she spent as a combat medic in Iraq.
“I live one day at a time,” she said. “Coming to these events makes me feel light-hearted and gives me hope that there are programs that help veterans reintegrate back into the real world.”
A 31-year-old stay-at-home mother of two, Lafferty was among the female military veterans who took part in the Second Selfridge Valor Cup Military Pro-Am Monday on the golf course at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.
The female veterans paired up to play a scramble event with professional golfers, including some LPGA Tour players who will take center stage later this week in the LPGA Volvik Championship in Ann Arbor.
The Eisenhower Center, based in Ann Arbor, sponsored the event in conjunction with Selfridge. It is one of the nation’s leading treatment centers for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, and developed the landmark “After The Impact” program that helps veterans, first responders and NFL players.
“It helped, a lot, but I don’t really think there is anything out there that is going to make you whole again,” she said. “It’s all up to you and what you go through. If you don’t try something like After The Impact to help you get through it, then you are letting yourself down.”
She was medically discharged and declined to talk about her specific medical issues. She said while serving in Iraq she saw a lot of stuff.
“I saw a four-year-old come in with a steak knife lodged a half inch from his trachea, survive and have nothing wrong,” she said. “I’ve also seen people die – people I was trying to help. It wasn’t pleasant.”
Iraq changed her emotionally and mentally, Lafferty said.
“People here take for granted just having running water,” she said. “You go over there and your whole life is different. Seeing people die in front of you, having mortars go over your head, and just the way you did day-to-day activities. There’s very little you can take for granted over there.”
John Cornack, CEO of Eisenhower, said the true purpose of the outing was to raise awareness to the health needs of military veterans like Lafferty.
“They have given us so much with their service,” he said. “We have to help them.”
Lafferty is currently trying to figure out the next step in life, and still trying to figure out some of her medical issues.
“I still have a lot going on with me medically,” she said. “Like I said, I live one day at a time.”
Lafferty played in a group with former LPGA Tour player and Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member Suzy Green-Roebuck of Ann Arbor.
Among the LPGA Tour professional golfers leading scramble teams and teeing it up in the LPGA Volvik Championship on Thursday were Michigan’s own Samantha Troyanovich of Grosse Pointe Shores, AJ Newell of Tampa, Fla., and Savannah Vilaubi of Downey, Calif.
Others leading teams included Michigan Golf Hall of Famer Elaine Crosby of Jackson, who had a long LPGA career and plays now on the LPGA Legends Tour, former LPGA Tour player Connie Ross of St. Joseph, known in her tour days as Connie Masterson, and Sarah Hoffman of Saline, who played in the Volvik Championship two years ago and is currently playing the mini-tour circuit.
The Valor Cup was not open to the public on the active military base, but high-ranking military officials attended and celebrated the day with the veterans.
The LPGA Volvik Championship is being played Thursday through Sunday at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor. Tickets are available at volviklpga.com.
via Greg Johnson