I had an idea that originated as a result of a catastrophic day for America, 9/11/01. Like Pearl Harbor, it has altered our way of life in so many ways. Remember where you were on nine-eleven? Do you remember the emotions of that day? You probably do. Your parents probably recalled where they were and what they were doing on December 7, 1941. Did you know that 2,403 people died at Pearl Harbor? There were 2,996 casualties plus at least 11 unborn babies killed as a result of the cowardly attack on 9/11.
While driving to the club on Veterans Day, 11/11/01, the idea of having a Veterans Outing to salute current and former members of our armed forces at GBCC entered my mind. After obtaining the unanimous approval of the board of directors at the November 2001 meeting, the idea transformed into the first annual Veterans outing on 11/11/02. Rain, snow, sleet and hail pelted 96 participants that day. One of our guests, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Ken Stumpf, commented that the rice paddies of Vietnam had provided better conditions!
Since that first outing over 1,600 Veterans, along with their relatives and friends, have enjoyed being treated like a member of our club for a day. I am happy to report this year's outing will be our largest ever. Last year was our largest, with 142 golfers. This year we are at capacity with 148 registered!
The club charges $75.00 for greens fees, cart, continental breakfast, lunch, hors d'oeuvres and non-alcoholic beverages. (Adult beverages are available for purchase.) Over $120,000 has been raised by this event and donated to local Veterans organizations. In 2010, 101 members of the club voluntarily funded the GBCC "Adopt-A-Soldier" program. With the assistance of local Veterans groups we sent out 101 "Care Packages" valued at about $10,000 to local soldiers deployed to various desert destinations.
Please know that the event costs the members of GBCC nothing. It is a zero income, zero expense event. We simply provide the use of our facilities to recognize those that have served. If you would like to join us as a volunteer, an observer of the opening ceremonies at 10:00 AM, or for the program after the event around 5:00 PM, please do so.
Come help us salute our Veterans!