By Tim HippsMay 29, 2008
BETHESDA, Md. (Army News Service, May 29, 2008) - Tiger Woods' support of U.S. troops will be on worldwide display July 2-6 during the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club.
Like last year, tournament host Woods has donated 30,000 tickets for service members and their families to attend the AT&T National. Military personnel again will play alongside Tiger in the Earl Woods Memorial Pro-Am on July 2.
For that day, a new twist has been added to the event. Nike donated golf equipment to troops in the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Japan, and aboard the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman. The Pentagon Channel will film service members making ceremonial first shots in those locations and the balls will be returned to the States.
Twenty-five children who have a parent serving abroad will join Tiger at Congressional for ceremonial first shots with those same golf balls.
"We feel that the shot and these balls are our way of thanking these families for the support that they really provide us," Congressional Country Club President Bret Hart said during AT&T National media day on May 27. "We feel it will be a great way really to honor them as well."
Woods seconded that sentiment.
"I think that people don't realize the dedication of our men and women," said Woods, an Army brat who seemingly could not say "thank you" enough to the troops. "I grew up in a military household. I understand. I understand what it takes. I witnessed it. I have been around the guys all my life - have been part of the military from infantrymen to Special Forces. I have been around all that. I know what it takes."
"They don't get enough thanks, and we're here to do that. There are people here who really do miss them, really appreciate what they're doing," he said.
Most Army Information Tours and Travel/Information Tours and Recreation offices within a 150-mile radius of Washington have the free tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis. The tickets will be limited to two per person each day for play on Wednesday through Friday for active duty, Reserve, National Guard, retired and civilian Department of Defense personnel.
For Saturday and Sunday play, the free tickets will be available only for active duty personnel - and restricted to two per day per person for each day. All tickets must be picked up at an ITT/ITR office. No tickets will be mailed.
Throughout the tournament, children 12-and-younger will be admitted for free when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult (limit two children per adult). Tickets for youths ages 13-17 can be purchased daily for $15 only at the gate.
For more information about the ticket distribution, e-mail your questions to email@example.com.
The AT&T National also will offer military personnel a one-time 10 percent discount at all on-course merchandise locations. A valid U.S. military identification card must be presented at time of purchase. That discount does not apply to purchases made at the Congressional Golf Shop adjacent to the clubhouse.
The tournament will honor a different branch of the military on each day of play and spectators are encouraged to wear patriotic clothing in support of our military men and women. Wednesday will be Coast Guard Day; Thursday is Air Force Day; Friday is Navy Day; Saturday will be dedicated to the Marine Corps, and Sunday will be Army Day.
Patrons who purchase tickets on the AT&T National Web site can make a donation to one of the following military charities: Fisher House Foundation, Military Officers Association of America Scholarship Fund, National Military Family Association, Our Military Kids or the Yellow Ribbon Fund.
(Tim Hipps works for Family Morale Welfare and Recreation Command Public Affairs)