Fort Gordon Airmen golf for a cause alongside wounded veterans
Members of the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group assigned to Fort Gordon attended the 2nd Annual Desert Jackals Golf Outing, hosted by the 3rd Intelligence Squadron Booster Club. The purpose of the event was to give back to the community and the local wounded veterans, as well as build camaraderie and team spirit among Airmen.
The event was led and organized by Staff Sgt. Martin Matinchek, with the 3rd Intelligence Squadron.
“We had the support of over 15 Central Savannah River Area businesses and organizations that sponsored the event,” said Matinchek. “My favorite part of the event was seeing the camaraderie between Airmen in the 3rd IS and the local wounded veterans, who were sponsored by the 3rd IS Booster Club to play.”
“Despite the forecast for rain, the day turned out to be perfect day to golf and provided a great opportunity to get out with friends, coworkers, and wounded warriors, and forget about all the little stressors while acting like we could play golf,” said Chief Master Sgt. Scott Wicks, 3rd IS superintendent.
The event included three local wounded Soldiers who participate in the Green2Green Foundation Golf Clinics. Green2Green is a non-profit organization founded by a group of wounded Soldiers and Augusta Georgia community leaders to honor and serve military Soldiers wounded in the line of duty. The organization uses golf to help our military heroes transition into civilian life and provides a useful means of stress management.
Danny McGowan, who was injured while serving in the Army National Guard during a deployment in Afghanistan from September 2009 to June 2010, participated in the golf tournament and said it gave him a chance to communicate with other Soldiers and share his story. “It was an honor and a pleasure to play in the tournament, and I hope we can do it again next year,” McGowan said.
It was Sr. Airman Patrick Myers’ first time golfing and he had a great time. “It was a great experience to just get to know a number of fellow Airmen in a relaxed environment… getting to know the wounded veterans was fantastic. Some of their stories I will never forget,” he said.
The day consisted of 18-holes of golf, lunch provided by the Gordon Lakes Golf Club, a putting contest, and an awards ceremony where prizes were given to the first place team, closest to pin, longest drive, and the putting contest winner. Lt. Col. Brad Borke, 3rd IS commander, recognized the wounded veterans and gave each one of them a Desert Jackals Booster Club shirt signed by all the Airmen present that day.
“It was in essence a day to build morale, and we had the added bonus of meeting some wounded warriors, help boost their morale, and, as one put it, ‘help replace bad memories with good ones.’ It’s a humbling experience interacting with our Nation’s veterans, especially those who have been wounded in action. It can put things in perspective when thinking about any rough time you are currently facing,” said Staff Sgt. Benjamin Rippy.