On Monday, June 23, 2014, Brightspot, along with co-host Jordan Spieth, the 9th ranked golfer in the world, a PGA Tour champion and reigning Rookie of the Year, will present the 3rd Annual Congressional Pro-Am. Since 2012, Brightspot has brought together individuals from a wide array of backgrounds to provide a memorable and unique experience at one of the most historic courses in the nation. Now in its third year, the Pro-Am has continued to grow with golfers from The First Tee, Special Olympics, and Feherty's Troops First Foundation joining from coast-to-coast. Read below to learn more about the wounded heroes from Feherty's Troops First Foundation who will be competing in this year's tournament.
Sergeant Omar Avila, US Army (ret.) grew up in Brownsville, Texas, and enlisted in the Army in June 2005. During a tour in Adhamiyah, Iraq, Sergeant Avila was wounded by the detonation of a 200-pound, deep-buried IED, which left him severely burned and required the amputation of his foot. Currently, he works as a Warrior Liaison for Feherty’s Troops First Foundation and competes as a powerlifter, while participating in a variety of other sports and extreme activities.
Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, US Army joined the 75thRanger Regiment in September 1999. Since enlisting, Petry has been deployed eight times to Iraq and Afghanistan, earning numerous distinctions including two Bronze Star Medals, a Purple Heart, and, most notably, the Medal of Honor for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.” His heroic actions, which resulted in the amputation of his right hand, saved the lives of his fellow Rangers. A proud father of four, Petry continues to serve in the US Army as a liaison officer for the Special Operations Command Care Coalition providing assistance to wounded warriors and their families. He hopes to pursue a degree in business management.
After graduating from college, Chad Pfeifer joined the U.S. Army as an infantry paratrooper and served over 3 years as an airborne infantryman before losing his left leg while deployed to Iraq. During Chad’s therapy and recovery from his injuries suffered in Iraq, he picked up the game of golf and quickly became a competitor. Since picking up the game in 2008 Chad has won back to back to back Warrior Open championships. Chad also hit a hole-in-one with former President George W. Bush as an official witness. A Purple Heart Recipient, he and his wife, Summer, have one son, Grady.
Technical Sergeant Dave Romanowsky enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1994 and retired in March 2011 after serving nearly 17 years. During his first deployment to Iraq, he responded via ground convoy to 429 IED attacks or attempted attacks throughout the city of Mosul. He was the victim or target of enemy insurgents on 12 separate occasions and was attacked by IEDs. He was later deployed to Taji, Iraq, where he conducted 123 missions to known IED sites. Later, he was re-deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, where he completed an additional 229 combat missions. For his heroic actions, he was awarded many honors including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He is married to Retired Master Sergeant Gayla Romanowsky and they are the proud parents of two children, Derek and Brooke.
During his service in the US Army, Infantry Sergeant James Weck was deployed twice to Iraq as a member of the 1st Battalion 87th Infantry 10th Mountain Division. Since his honorable discharge, Weck has earned his BA in Criminal Justice and currently serves as a State Trooper in Wyoming, while working towards a graduate degree in Justice Administration.