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Team 43 Sports

As part of a larger set of programs that support veterans in the transition to civilian life, Team 43 Sports showcases the courage, commitment, and resilience of these warriors and underscore the importance of sports as part of the rehabilitation process for our men and women injured on the front lines.

The Bush Institute hosts two events featuring injured servicemen and women: the W100K, a high-endurance three-day bike ride, and the Warrior Open, a highly competitive golf tournament. Since 2011, more than 100 warriors have participated in Team 43 Sports events.

The W100K

A high-endurance three-day mountain bike ride lead by President Bush. 

About the W100K

The Warrior Open

A competitive golf tournament for warriors, which includes a Pro-Am.

About Warrior Open

Through these events, which include the personal participation of President Bush, the Bush Institute connects these warriors with resources to assist in their transition and assists them in developing their networks. The events also spotlight some of the leading nonprofit organizations delivering services to veterans, as well as private sector entities that prioritize making employment opportunities available to veterans.

In His Words: Dave Smith, Corporal (Retired), USMC

Dave Smith enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2003. He deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was engaged in some of the war’s heaviest fighting. He was honorably discharged in 2007 but experienced severe post-traumatic stress. “When you go to war, something in you changes,” he said. He was angry, and worried about stigma. “We don’t admit weakness. That’s not part of our warrior culture,” he explained.

But things got worse – at one point, he even contemplated suicide. Then a fellow warrior gave him the wake-up call he needed. “He had the courage to tell me ‘I’m getting help. I’m working on this,’” Dave recalled, “And you should, too.” So Dave took ownership of his transition. He first associated with the Bush Center in 2012, joining President Bush on the W100K ride. “Being able to see his heart and passion for helping veterans has meant a lot to me and has given me inspiration to never stop serving,” Dave said.

He’s become an active member of Team 43, sharing his story and encouraging others to make a difference. Dave explained, “The program reminds us we are not forgotten, our sacrifices were not in vain, and that helping us towards a successful transition is a major priority.”

“I didn’t realize how much I missed the comradery of fellow soldiers… Also, in the past, I had always seen having PTS as something to be ashamed of. Seeing how other warriors confront it, and how they were able to improve their lives inspired me."

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