Wounded warriors go golfing with President Bush

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by DAVID SCHECHTER / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 24 at 11:33 AM

IRVING, Texas — Teeing off on the first hole with former President George W. Bush watching? That's nerve-wracking.

But it's nothing compared to surviving life-threatening injuries in battle.

On Sunday, those survivors played a warm-up round of golf with President Bush as his second Warrior Open is set to begin on Monday.

What's Brian "Ski" Donarski's favorite part about the Warrior Open? The friendships.

"This is where you build camaraderie," he said, watching another player putt. "This is for a Dr Pepper... oh, that was close!"

President Bush's event is by invitation only. This year, no golfer has a handicap above 13.

With or without serious battlefield injuries, these guys are good golfers, and they have an immediate understanding of what each other has been through.

"It's a bond that you don't necessarily need to explain where you came from... we already know," golfer Michael Meyer said.

"All these weird nerves come out for no reason," said John Faulkenberry, who golfed with President Bush. "He plays really fast, and he hits the ball the same every time. He's good."

"He'll come over and put his arm around you and talk a little trash even... he's a really approachable guy," Mayer added.

But on Monday, when the two-day competition begins, they'll put that aside and battle it out with one other... as friends.

"Whoo! Life is good!" Donarski exclaimed as he sank a putt.

Twenty-two players are scheduled to tee off at Las Colinas Country Club on Monday; they represent the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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