For retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Bernard Teich, losing his right leg to an improvised explosive device was only the first of a series of obstacles that would change his life.
The next challenge was waiting for him at home.
That’s when Texas Wounded Warrior stepped in to help.
Texas Wounded Warrior is an organization designed to honor wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan by helping meet their physical and financial needs.
“A lot of guys come back and are treated at Walter Reed,” Dick Goetz, Texas Wounded Warrior chairman, said. “But once they get through rehabilitation, they have financial issues that the government can’t take care of.”
“(Without them) it would have been very difficult,” he said “I’m truly grateful for what they’re doing.”
As a nonprofit organization, Goetz and his colleagues provide these services at no cost.
Goetz said the organization reaches a variety of soldiers but primarily focuses on the East Texas area.
“We’ve found there is enough need here in East Texas,” he said. “But we’ve worked with soldiers from all over the country.”
Some of the East Texas warriors involved with the organization include Andy Burnett, Robert Armstrong and Matt Bricka, who serves on the Texas Wounded Warrior board of directors.
The organization formed in 2007, after Goetz attended the Marine Corps Celebrity Golf Classic at Camp Lejuene in North Carolina.
Goetz, a former professional golfer on the Senior PGA Tour, used the event as a chance to spend time with wounded veterans while dispersing golf tips.
Goetz said he was so inspired by the experience that he decided to form his own professional and amateur golf event with his friend Ron Nash.
Since 2008, the pair has held an annual, multiday event featuring entertainment and pro-am golfing for wounded soldiers and their families.
Goetz said the event helps his organization raise awareness of its fundraising efforts.
During the past three years, Texas Wounded Warrior has raised about $82,000 to support injured veterans such as Bernard Teich.
Teich said he appreciates what the organization did for him, and he hopes they can continue to support soldiers in need.
To learn more about Texas Wounded Warrior, visit www.txwoundedwarrior.com.