The last four words in the "Star-Spangled Banner" are "home of the brave." Veterans that participated in the Warrior Cup told the Free Beacon their stories, showing how they embody the word "brave."
This is the fifth year of the Warrior Open, which is hosted by the George W. Bush Institute. Retired Army Capt. Bryon Vincent said the Warrior Open is "a unique opportunity and a unique experience."
A special relationship exists between the veterans and former President George W. Bush.
"Many people talk, but not many very people walk the walk," said Marine Corps Sgt. B.J. Ganem. "President George W. Bush definitely walks the walk."
On November 25, 2004, the vehicle Ganem was driving was hit by an improvised explosive device. Ganem lost his lower left leg in the attack.
Ganem first met Bush in December 2004 and said the former president is "still following up" on him.
Retired Army Sgt. 1st Class John Faulkenberry has participated in the Warrior Cup for two years—this year winning the Cup. He called the Warrior Cup "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where you make new friends that you keep forever."
On July 27, 2007, outside a small village in the Korengal Valley in northeastern Afghanistan, Faulkenberry's unit was ambushed from both sides of a river. Faulkenberry was shot multiple times in his upper right thigh, where it shattered his femur, severed his sciatic nerve, lacerated his femoral artery, and blew out most of his quad and hamstring. The injury ultimately led to a below-the-knee amputation.
Retired Army Master Sgt. Jason Stamer had also participated in the Warrior Open before.
"It is a great honor to come back and to participate in this event," Stamer said. Before being wounded in Operation Enduring Freedom, Stamer was an avid golfer. He thanked the Salute Military Gold Association for promoting golf as a tool for recovery and a healthy life.
The Free Beacon will publish in-depth interviews with these brave veterans on Veterans Day.