EVANS, Ga (WFXG) - While the CRSA is home to one of the world's most well-known sporting events: The Masters Tournament. There's another golfing event that's attracting attention this week, the Armed Forces Cup.

Veterans from all across the country are at Champions Retreat this week, battling it out.

They have competed for the past 11 months to qualify for the Armed Forces Cup. The format is similar to the PGA's Ryder Cup Event, with teams facing off against each other. The five service branches of the U.S. Military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard are represented in this year's championship field.

The Veterans Golf Association, who makes the event possible, says it's more than just a game. It's about enriching the lives of veterans and their families through sportsmanship and camaraderie of golf.

Doc Baca retired from the Army in 2019. For him, the Veteran's Golf Association provides the sense of brotherhood he once had along with a competitive atmosphere.

"It's given me back a sense of purpose, helping veterans, making sure they are mentally and physically healthy, trying to do whatever we can to get veterans back out into the community," Baca says. "One of the things all veterans like is being outside, we spent so much time outside. Being outside is the perfect venue for it: and it just seems to bring out the best in them.”

Bob Peele, Chairman of the VGA, says it has flourished since it started back in 2014. Now hosting 1,500 tournaments a year. He says the reason is simple.

“All of these guys know that 22 veterans commit suicide every day," Peele says. "That’s a negative motivation, but that’s the facts. And so, what this organization does with the teamwork and camaraderie provides a connection.”

For spectators, like former football coach and advisory board member Urban Meyer, the event is just as impactful.

“It gives you a sense of appreciation to live in the greatest country that’s ever existed," Meyer says. "It’s an appreciation for the men and women who have fought for us that have made the ultimate sacrifice for us. We just experienced Memorial Day and I just hope everybody understands what that really means. The freedoms that we have are because of the men and women that have served our country.”

The final day of action at the Armed Forces Cup takes place Wednesday.

The VGA is open to veterans and family members. You can find a chapter near you through their website.

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