(Via Ho’okele News)
Story and photo by MC1 Cynthia Clark
Defense Media Activity, Hawaii News Bureau
Military members from all branches, retirees and their family members had the opportunity to view the Sony Open in Hawaii at the Waialae Country Club, from a special tent sponsored by the Birdies for the Brave program held from Jan. 9 to 11.
This was the seventh year the foundation and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), along with their corporate sponsors, provided food and beverages for the service members and retirees. It gave them the opportunity to relax and recharge on the 18th fairway. Another benefit was the chance to visit, take photos and get autographs from the professional golfers who made their way to the tent following their round.
“I definitely follow the game, and seeing all the big players out here, it’s great, especially to come into this tent,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brian Burns, stationed at U.S. Pacific Command.
“Having them taking time to come out here, and then to come to the tent after they’re done, I know they’re so busy with millions of demands on their schedule, but to come over here to the tent, at this great venue, it’s just been awesome.”
While it was an exciting opportunity for the service members, for the golfers who spent time with them in the tent, the feeling was mutual.
“It was great to get to stop by and talk to some of the troops and sign autographs. I think the military and golf goes hand-in-hand,” said PGA member Ben Martin, during his time at the tent.
“It’s cool for us to show our support to them, as much as they support us and all that they do. Hopefully they come out and have a good time, and [are] able to enjoy watching us play some golf. It’s nice to get done with a round of golf and come back and hang out with these guys.”