The One Armed Golfer

Written by Xiomara Spadafora, President and Co-Founder

As The Zellner Foundation for Military Vets continues its quest of helping veterans find jobs on the First Coast, we are also having a little bit of fun by incorporating our golf program Will of Iron.

Exclusive for disabled and PTSD diagnosed veterans, the Will of Iron Program provides them with golf gear, lessons, and playtime free of cost. Fresh air, green scenery, and good company are one of a kind therapeutic with no side effects.

One of the beneficiaries of this program is retired Navy corpsman Gabriel George. In 2009, “Gabe” was pronounced dead at the scene of a motorcycle accident. He was leaving a bible study when a reckless driver hit him.

Two months later, he had to accept the fate of a life with a Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, and losing his right arm.

A decade into recovery, facing adversity at every corner, Gabe developed his four words mantra: Vision – Discipline – Strength – Determination. This is the vehicle that keeps him rolling towards his most cherished goal: to compete at the Paralympic Games in archery.

Gabriel is known as The One Armed Archer. He is also a father, husband, avid diver, pickelballer, and cyclist. Most recently, he began golfing, and The Zellner Foundation for Military Vets is proud to sponsor his new journey as The One Armed Golfer.

Since the beginning of 2021, I have had the privilege to golf with Gabriel a couple of times. As an amateur golfer, I tend to criticize my game and think about quitting. However, watching Gabriel swing the club–with only one arm–taught me a valuable lesson: there are no excuses.

In his own words, “Life is for the living,” and Gabriel George embodies this statement fully. He is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of faith in God.

If you want to support our mission, please click here to donate.

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