WALLACE, NC (WECT) – A group of our country's heroes are being honored this week in Duplin County. They are members of the United States Marines who suffered wounds while deployed overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they are now back home recovering.
For 16 seasons, Johnny Bench was a key part of Major League Baseball's Big Red Machine. These days, he is part of an even larger team, serving as a key celebrity spokesman for the non-profit group Hope For The Warriors, an organization that was created to help enhance the quality of life of service men and women who have substantial physical and emotional wounds as a result of combat.
Bench is one of more than 40 celebrities who are playing golf this week with the members of the military at River Landing Country Club in Wallace.
"Hope For The Warriors gives them that transition somewhat into their lives, but at the same time, stabilizing them to get back on their feet once more," said Bench, about the service provided by Hope For the Warriors. "And if they have financial problems, or if they have another thing that is part of a stress-related problem of their lives, Hope For The Warriors addresses that."
Hope For The Warriors was started in 2006 by a group of military wives at Camp Lejeune, who witnessed firsthand the effects of a combat not only on the service members, but their families as well.
"Hope For The Warriors is growing and growing, and the more people hear about it, the more successful it is," said Bench. "And that success translates into the fact that we save lives, we help to stabilize them, help them get on their feet, to get back into the community, to get back into their family's lives…so they are not torn apart and they have someone to rely on, and we all need that."
It is the fourth year that River Landing Country Club has hosted the Hope For The Warrior Invitational, where injured service members, who have recovered enough to play golf, are teamed with the celebrities and other golfers. And it is something that employees there look forward to each year.
"We are allowed to do the things that we have here today in our society, and these kids have given their minds, their bodies and their hearts for us," said Dell Murphy, President of Murphy Family Ventures.
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