“Our veterans’ families and caregivers need help. And we can help them by being their voices and raising awareness.”

A lot of golf is played at Crestwood Country Club. 

A lot of golf. 

But every summer there is a particular tournament that hits a bit different. It pulls at the heartstrings, it brings people together, and it carries with it the memory of a fallen soldier and friend.

It’s called KavFest, an annual event in honor of U.S. Army veteran and Pittsburg native Brian Kavanagh. The event is hosted by VetLinks, an organization Brian and his wife Jessica Kavanaugh started to support U.S. military veterans.

After Brian’s death in 2016, Jessica made VetLinks her life’s mission.

“Our veterans need help,” she said. “Our veterans’ families and caregivers need help. And we can help them by being their voices and raising awareness.”

This year’s KavFest 6th annual golf tournament at Crestwood is Aug. 13. Jessica said the fundraiser has helped VetLinks change the lives of many veterans across the country.

“I’ve personally seen so many lives changed as a result of this work,” she said. “I’m so incredibly grateful to everyone who continues to support KavFest and VetLinks.”

The mission of VetLinks is to educate and empower veterans and their families by linking them to services, support, and programs in order to enrich their quality of life. Its particular focus is on veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and substance abuse disorder (SUD).

“Brian struggled with PTS and substance abuse,” Jessica said, “and we were both frustrated by the lack of care provided by Veterans Affairs and the overall lack of resources for veterans. That’s why we launched VetLinks, to be part of the solution.”

The care and resources provided by VetLinks includes mental health care, therapy, counseling, legal assistance, education, and administrative assistance. They can also connect combat veterans and their families to additional resources not provided directly through our charity.

While Jessica and her children still struggle with the loss of Brian, she said VetLinks and all of its supporters have helped her find peace and an impactful way to honor Brian’s memory.

“There’s no way I could do this alone,” she said. “From the VetLinks board to people across the country who have supported us, it’s truly been a family experience. While nothing can replace our Brian, we know he’s here with us in all that we do, and we’ll never give up on his mission to support United States veterans.”

For more information, visit VetLinks.

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