CBS golf announcer David Feherty is known to golf fans as the funny guy with an Irish accent. But there's nothing humorous about Feherty's current mission, and it has very little to do with golf.
Feherty's celebrity, however, has given him a very public platform to accomplish that mission, to make sure the American public knows who the real heroes are and what a privilege it is to live in the United States.
Feherty said America's heroes are not Tiger Woods, not professional football players, not musicians, not movie stars; her heroes are the men and women serving in the armed forces. And when Feherty travels to Hilton Head Island this week, he's spearheading a bicycle ride to promote the cause of soldiers who have lost limbs fighting in the Middle East.
Feherty calls the events he puts on IEDs — Improvised Explosive Days. He's already held IED golf tournaments and an IED pheasant hunt for soldiers who have lost arms and legs. The IED of Cycling will take place at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday out of Crossings Park, near the end of Hilton Head's Cross Island Parkway.
An avid cyclist who was severely injured last year while riding, Feherty will be joined by The Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman and approximately 100 members of the island cycling club. But the stars of the ride will be Ferris Butler, who lost both legs because of the war, and Kenny Butler, who lost his left arm. Trek Bicycle Corporation has provided bikes for the soldiers, Feherty said. CBS is expected to air a segment during its heritage coverage.
Feherty said he has "been continually stunned by the quality of the people I've met" during his work with the troops.
"I've asked the same question every time I leave a hospital room, 'What do you want to do when you get out?' And it doesn't matter how badly burned or broken or how many pieces they're in, the answer 100 percent of the time is 'I want to go back. I want to rejoin my team. I want to finish the mission.' It would take your breath away.
And Feherty doesn't like it when people call it an "unpopular war."
"That might be the stupidest two words I've ever heard. Korea was just one giant bleeping episode of MASH, apparently. World War II was a hoot, everybody loved that one. Of course it's an unpopular war. People are getting killed. But I've seen the torture houses where children have been killed or tortured in front of their parents, skinned alive. These soldiers are protecting American children."