FORT HOOD, Texas -- More than 100 Soldiers here participated in a free golf scramble tournament at the Courses of Clear Creek as part of an event called Operation Standing Strong, Oct. 22.
Operation Standing Strong was hosted by Fort Hood Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation in honor of the Soldier, their enduring deployments and the sacrifices they make on behalf of the nation.
Lt. Gen. Pat White, III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general, helped kick off the free event by thanking troopers for their service. He, along with many others, had just returned from an overseas deployment himself.
“Today is about a little bit of relief,” White said, addressing the large group of Soldiers. “Get some friendship rolling out there. Meet some new people. If you are a first-time golfer, it’s OK. Just have fun. Don’t get stressed out. Somebody will help you out along the way.”
Events like this are critical to good morale for troops and also for maintaining good community relations, according to White.
“I think it’s about building teams,” White explained. “It’s about meeting new people. It’s about recognizing excellence. It’s taking advantage of those that want to be a part of our team, and getting to know somebody you didn’t know yesterday. I think this is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, motivational team-building way to go about business, as you have seen here today.”
For some Soldiers at the event from Company C, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, this was one of the last opportunities for a team building event like this before heading out for an overseas rotation in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
“We’re getting ready to go do some great things overseas and just came out here with some of the guys in our company just have fun, relax and get our mindset ready for this upcoming rotation,” Staff Sgt. Nathan Begley explained. “Our first sergeant pushed it down the chain. We found out, and we all like to golf, so we were all like let’s go sign up. And we got on thankfully.”
Sgt. Ronnie Garcia, also in the same unit in 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, was unanimously voted the best golfer of the group and appreciated the free event.
“Another good day to be in the Army,” Garcia said. “Sometimes the Army takes away a lot from us, but sometimes, they find a way to give us some good stuff back.”