(credit: Stephanie Lucero/KTVT/KTXA)

(credit: Stephanie Lucero/KTVT/KTXA)

IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – Wounded war veterans will hit the links at the Las Colinas Country Club on Thursday morning as part of a two-day golf tournament in their honor. The event is being hosted by the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas and, according to spokesman Michael Dorff, the former president is expected to be in attendance.

A total of 24 wounded warriors from all around the country will be competing in the 36-hole competition. The participants were all selected based on their golfing abilities, and will be playing with professional golfers and celebrities on the first day of the tournament.

“I idolize these guys,” said professional golfer and Dallas native Lee Trevino. “I mean, this is strictly voluntary. They go over and they fight for this country, and it’s just fantastic.”

The event is designed to honor those who have served and sacrificed themselves to defend the United States. Bush uses the opporunity to spend some one-on-one time with the wounded veterans. He does not actually play golf with them, but he rides along the course and stops to talk to the players and their families. Bush has yet to meet 14 of those veterans who will be playing this year.

Retired Marine Jason Roberts took up golf as part of his therapy after being injured in 2009. “It was an IED. It was in Afghanistan,” Roberts recalled. “I was in a vehicle. It was a command-detonated IED. There was six of us in the truck. Two of us got killed. Four of us got seriously injured.”

The golf tournament is only for veterans who were severely wounded during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan. The event is not open to the public. Bush called the event “a testimony to the people who have had the resolve and a desire to live life to the fullest. And no better way to do so than on a golf course.”

This is the tournament’s third year. Roberts is very thankful to have the opportunity to “get out here and compete with everybody and have a blast.”

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