Native Veteran Golfer Advances to VGA National Championships at Pinehurst
Having served in the United States Marine Corp for four years, with combat service in Iraq, John W. Teller (Menominee/Oneida), a member of the Veteran Golfers Association (VGA), will join approximately 80 veterans from around the country to compete in the 2015 VGA Championship this Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11, at the historic Pinehurst No. 2 golf course in North Carolina.
Teller told ICTMN that he and other Native people have a proud tradition of military service.
“I am proud to walk in the footsteps of my ancestors who have gone before me,” Teller wrote to ICTMN in an email. “I feel very honored as a veteran to have served my country and I give thanks to all our service men and women who have given so much and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.”
Teller told ICTMN that when he came home from Iraq in 2003, playing golf was therapy, a good way “to get outdoors, exercise, and get stress-relief from difficult everyday life. Golf to me is more than just a sport, it is my saving grace.”
In addition to his accomplishments in golf, Teller is a celebrated traditional musician who started the recording company Bear Tracks Media in 2007 and he was also selected as a “40 Under 40” award recipient from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development www.ncaied.org for his work in Indian Country and business technology.
In 2014 and again in 2015, Teller won the annual Golf Club Championship at the Shawano Lake Golf Course in Shawano, WI.
According to a release, Teller earned his slot at Pinehurst by advancing in a regional qualifier at Thornberry Creek at Oneida course in July. Top finishers at regional venues qualified for an all-expense paid trip to the VGA National Championships in Pinehurst, N.C. on Veterans Day.
“It is rewarding to have put in so many years of hard work and dedication to the game of golf and to see that hard work pay off by getting to play at one of the most prestigious golf resorts in the country, on Veterans Day, for a national championship,” said Teller.
The Veteran Golfers Association was formed this year as a 501(c)3 non-profit with ‘a vision to promote golf to veterans and their family members across the country.”
All veterans, including active duty, reservists, retired or disabled, are eligible for membership in the VGA.
To follow the 2015 VGA Championship, please visit www.vgachampionship.org.
To learn more about the VGA please visit www.vgagolf.org.
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