FORT CARSON, Colo. - A clear sky and soothing breeze welcomed the Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, as they prepared to begin a golf tournament May 16, 2019, at the Cheyenne Shadows Golf Club at Fort Carson, Colorado.
"We decided to do a 'tees for troops' event for the battalion to allow Soldiers to build camaraderie within their teams," said Sgt. Maj. Marcus Kremer, senior enlisted leader, 1st Bn., 12th Inf. Reg., 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
The tournament, however, was a perfect opportunity for Soldiers to give back to the community, Kremer said.
"It's important for us, as Soldiers, to reach out to our surrounding communities and let them know that we support and care for them," he said.
During the tournament, Soldiers collected personal hygiene items, such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo and towels, to give to a local veterans' support center called the Crawford House.
The Crawford House, named after Master Sgt. William Crawford, a Medal of Honor recipient, provides homeless and in-need veterans with emergency housing.
The event allowed Soldiers to understand the type of support available in the local community, Kremer said.
"After leaving the service, some veterans end up having behavioral health problems, fall into drug addiction and other problems, and it's great to know there are people within the communities that provide assistance," he said.
Jerome Ford, program director for Crawford House and 25-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, still feels like he is serving through his work at the Crawford House.
The reason I am here is because of the brotherhood, the sisterhood, and the whole family we have between the services," Ford said. "Without the help of past, current and future (service members) there would be no Crawford House."
Ford said the items the Soldiers collected and delivered made a huge difference in running the house.
"Donations and community support help (us) every single day to make sure our veterans are taken care of completely," Ford said. "We are extremely thankful for the support we receive and without them we could not survive."
Supporting the Crawford House is only the beginning of the battalion's plan to build and strengthen partnerships in the community, Kremer said.
"The local community is vital to the success of Fort Carson as a whole, and we the (service members) need to be good partners and help and support them when we can," Kremer said. "We are excited for future opportunities to assist the local surrounding communities."