SARATOGA SPRINGS – Billy Yaiser is a Vietnam War veteran dedicated to helping other veterans whop have either physical or psychological issues in any way he can.
He started the National Learning League Training Center, located on the Hudson Valley Community College campus, many years ago to help achieve low-cost, common sense solutions to serious health problems facing many members of the community.
He started it 30 years ago to allow people to easily begin playing sports without regard to their physical condition, hosting golf outings and tennis matches for the disabled. He also founded Second Chance Sports with the goal of teaching disabled veterans how to play golf and tennis despite their disabilities.
“My goal is to help people get good enough so that they don’t have to take lessons anymore,” Yaiser said. “Everybody should be able to get out and do things, especially our veterans. For those with PTSD, it’s way more than just getting out and swining a club or racquet. They get to meet and interact with people, which helps with their feeling of seclusion.”
Yaiser said aging equipment and rising costs are making running his foundation a bit difficult.
“Like anything else, after years of use, just like cars that need to be repaired or replaced,” Yaiser said, “the golf carts we use for Wounded Warriors or disabled community members are too expensive to just go out and replace.”
The golf carts used to get the people out and playing cost at least $8,000 apiece, and Yaiser said he has eight that need repair. He estimates that all of the repairs will cost in excess of $28,000, and he’s asking for help from the community.
“The act of kindness is the Healthy Saratoga and the Thank You Project where you help us take care of the active military and their families,” he said. “Now, when they need it most. All we ask is that you take care of yourself and family and friends by learning something fun and healthy like a lifetime sport.”
Golf, tennis and racquetball are the main activities at Second Chance. Cost is $80 per four-week session. If you sign up now, you will get free passes to other programs, which can be discussed with Yaiser in private.
“You don’t stop playing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop playing,” Yaiser said.
For more information on all of this, please call Yaiser at 518-491-0556.