FORT HOOD, Texas-After a week of pouring rain and thunderstorms, the clouds parted and let the sun shine on the Red Team United States Field Artillery Association golf tournament held at the Clear Creek Golf Course, here, July 29.

The tournament's proceeds help to defray the cost of the annual St. Barbara's Ball, where the three most prestigious awards for the USFAA; the Ancient Order of St. Barbara award; the Honorable Order of St. Barbara award; and the Artillery Order of Molly Pitcher are awarded.

The golf tournament gives a chance for some of the artillery organizations to come together and socialize outside an office environment.

"It's about team building and camaraderie among the fires supporters at Fort Hood," said Col. John Thomson, commander, 41st Fires Brigade. "It's also for a good purpose, to raise money for our St. Barbara's ball in November."

Thomson hoped to get 30 teams to participate in the tournament, he got 36.
The fees for the tournament were just one of the ways the tournament raised money.

On the second hole of the Deer Run course, a dogleg left with a par five that tees off over Clear Creek, teams could pay an additional $10 to move up to the ladies tee. This gave the group a significant advantage by removing the water hazard from play.

Individuals could purchase "Mulligan" tickets that eventually became raffle tickets. The raffle prizes included gift certificates for local restaurants, sporting goods stores, and golf equipment.

Capt. Amy Miller, assistant administration officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 41st Fires Bde., along with her team "Changa", decorated their golf carts colorfully and had James Taylor and Jimmy Buffet playing on the cart's stereo.

"Our team is made up of the chaplain, the brigade S-1, and the brigade S-1's nanny," said Miller. "None of us really played a whole lot so we decided we're going to have a lot of fun, decorate, and just do some team building out here."

While most golfers were there to play competitively, Maj. Phillip Hall, 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Bde., tried his hand at golf for the first time.

"I'm loving it," Hall said. "I watched the guys on TV, and it looks a lot easier when they're playing."

While Hall was happy to play golf, Lt. Col. Nate Cook, battalion commander, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, teamed with his father Nathan Cook, brother Danny Cook, and family friend-Dr. Dick Couey, took the tournament with a posted score of 58.

This is indeed a very good time for artillery units at Fort Hood to hold this event, said Thomson.

"Due to operation tempo, for the first time since 2003 every major artillery unit is back at Fort Hood," said Thomson. "It's only for a narrow window since the next artillery battalion goes back out the door next month."

With participation exceeding expectations and funds raised for the St. Barbara's ball, the tournament was a great success.