Veterans, U.S. Presidents enjoy playing golf

Tommy Snell
Tommy Snell Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

The words “Thank you for your service” overwhelmed Facebook on Friday while American flags decorated golf courses across the Coast.

It’s a reminder that our men and women in uniform remain as important as voting booths, the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner.

Veterans Day, Armistice Day and Remembrance Day teed off on courses around the globe with an enthusiasm that swelled hearts and an acknowledgement that would make Marie Bartholdi salute.

The Stars and Stripes were more than allegorical symbols as they decorated tees and greens across the Mississippi Gulf Coast and signaled the end of a golfer’s handicap during a flag tournament.

According to Defense Manpower Data Center, 1.4 million people are serving in the U.S. armed forces, and that number increases to 20.4 million internationally, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

President Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton served two terms in the presidency, and all three play golf. Coincidence? Actually, of the last 15 presidents, only three, Hoover, Truman, and Carter, didn’t participate in birdies and pars. Eisenhower was perhaps the commander in chief most well-known for his golf, having a green outside the oval office and a desk at Augusta National.

American Lake Veterans’ Golf Course in Washington is “dedicated to providing, teaching and promoting the benefits of golf to veterans.” We need more courses like American where veterans, “Hospital in-patients, family and their guests have first priority on the course.”

Golf has been good to veterans and continues to be a service to those who wake up on base and in the field of battle. This past weekend the Wounded Warrior Program teed off across the nation. Its mission? To honor and empower Wounded Warriors.

Whether these brave men and women are wounded or not, Veterans Day and every day should be filled with gratitude on and off the golf course.