Disabled veterans learn skills, meet new friends at TEE Tournament

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RIVERSIDE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Disabled veterans from across the country are here in eastern Iowa, competing in golf and learning some other new skills this week.

Volunteers are coaching these veterans, helping them learn things like kayaking and other outdoor activities, and hoping to boost their self-esteem. When veteran Michael Allen heard about the National Disabled Veterans TEE Tournament, he immediately filled out the paperwork.

"I'm just having a great time," said Michael Allen of Richmond, VA.

Allen and other veterans who are here for the first time said it's a blast. One man said the first few days have already given him a new outlook on life.

"I've gained a new perspective, and I've got a new understanding about who I am. I'm ready to start new things in my life," said Kennith Harvey of Richmond, VA.

Allen is looking forward to kayaking and fishing later this week.

"It's kind of like a quiet time...but getting on the water, that's what I'm looking forward to," said Allen.

There are other activities including cycling, horseback riding, and golf. Some of these veterans are learning to golf differently because of their disabilities but they're not letting that hold them back.

"We sometimes set limitations on ourselves too low. We can do a lot more than we think we can do. So we push those limits and that's when good things happen," said Dave Riley, a quadruple amputee from Semmes, AL.

Riley has been working tirelessly to improve his golf skills with some new custom clubs.

"If we can fix the breakage problems, we'll have some good clubs at the end of it. They're really doing good things here," said Riley.

Riley's here for the second time but he said the camaraderie keeps bringing him back.

"Just the people that are here and the beautiful grounds. It's such a wonderful event. I can't wait to come back," said Riley.

The TEE tournament has its closing ceremonies Thursday night at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort.