FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii (Oct. 15, 2011) -- Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, U.S. Army Pacific commanding general, threw out the match ball and welcomed the military and public to a day of Army polo Oct. 15 at historic Palm Circle on Fort Shafter.

The exhibition match between the Army Gold and Army Black teams was a culmination of an inaugural polo season for Army Polo Hawaii that participated in five games, all of them a benefit for the Association of the U.S. Army, which supports Soldiers and their Families.

U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Directorate organized the day of fun at Fort Shafter. Other events include a military working dog demonstration, pony rides, historic Army vehicles display and children's games.

A partnership has been formed between the Association of U.S. Army, the Hawaii Polo community, and the U.S. Polo Association. The partnership has a simple mission: to revive the long standing tradition of polo in Hawaii, honor Soldiers and Families for making sacrifices on a daily basis, and raise awareness and funding in support of the Wounded Warriors and returning combat Soldiers.

Polo's earliest origins are tied to Army and cavalry units around the world. The U.S. Army had practiced this tradition for many decades and has a rich history of Army polo in Hawaii. The sport was routinely played before World War II at Schofield Barracks. One of the most notable players of the time, Gen. George S. Patton, led the Army team during matches at Kapiolani Park in Honolulu. Patton, a lieutenant colonel at the time, lived on Palm Circle.