BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The PGA of America is helping military veterans that have returned home and are suffering from the scars that came from their service.
The program is a unique way to get them back to everyday life with the help of a golf course.
WPTV spoke to a veteran who said the program changed her life.
Christina Olivarez stands at attention as the national anthem is played, but what's going through her mind?
"My last assignment, I was a medical-legal death investigator. That's where we took in all the deaths from theater," Olivarez said.
Olivarez left the Army in 2011 after 23 years of active duty. She said she had a lot of demons because of her job. It got so bad she couldn't even leave her house.
"I had a lot of anxiety. I had some panic attacks. I had PTSD. It was a big issue for me," she said. "I was stuck for a long time, and because of the help I got from my sister and my brother-in-law and this program, PGA HOPE, I was able to come back into life again."
PGA HOPE is a free, six-week adaptive golf program created for veterans. And now veterans have their very own "Hope Has A Home" weekly league to be played at the Links at Boynton Beach golf course.
"HOPE stands for "Helping Our Patriots Everywhere," Bo Preston, general manager of the Links at Boynton Beach, said. "And what it is a physical and mental program for them to get back into society, interact with society and get them out in the fresh air. Golf is an important part, but it's not the most important part."
He said more than a thousand veterans have gone through the PGA Hope program.
"What you'll see out here, when they start interacting is Navy, Air Force, Army, they will go joke at each other," he said. "It's a bonding experience. They're with like people."
Olivarez said PGA HOPE helped her learn to laugh and smile again.
"Little by little, coming out here to the golf course and learning this game, I found peace," she said.