By Clair Goodwin
Special to The Globe
When Harold Smith contacted me last year about getting some information in my column about a fund-raising tournament for a DAV Chapter 19 scramble to help raise money for the local transportation and service fund, I was more than happy to help.
I am neither a veteran nor am I disabled.
But I might have been one if not for bad eyes and could have been the other but for the grace of God.
Veterans are close to America’s heart. At least they should be. Our right to freedom of religion, of expression and of so many other personal liberties being denied to people in other lands didn’t come at a cheap price. Millions have died or suffered physical and mental injuries. Millions more stood guard — and do so now — to prevent other tragedies such as the sinking of the battleship Maine, surprise attack on Pearl Harbor or the 9-11 tragedy.
Our enemies have been, for the most part, readily identifiable: They had Nazi armbands and marched in goose-step; some flew fighter planes with the rising sun emblazoned on the wings and others donned the garb of peasants, farmers and laborers.
Our enemies fought us from steamy Cuba and Central America to the killing fields of France, from the green hell of Guadalcanal to the beaches of Normandy, and from the bitter cold of the Chosen Reservoir to the jungles and rice paddies of Vietnam. Now the battleground is the Middle East.
Those who want to destroy us these days are nameless and faceless. Their specialty is terror and their targets are anyone — man, woman or child — whose deaths can further their religious, political and cultural intolerances.
Before I get any farther into this paean to the men and women who selflessly served their country in time of peril, let me say that I am proud and pleased that this column may in some way assist disabled U.S. veterans.
My contact with Chapter 19 DAV in Grove, Okla., is through an old school chum, Harold Smith. Harold is a Vietnam veteran who suffers from a serious service-related illness.
He also is a golf nut.
This marks the fourth year of the DAV four-person golf scramble. It will be played Saturday, May 18, at Patricia Island Golf Course. The tournament is sponsored by the Bank of Grove. The four hole-in-one prizes include $20,000, a set of Callaway irons, a domestic flight for two (within the continental U.S.) and a 32-inch flat screen LCD TV.
Money raised will be used for local transportation and services.
There will be two men’s flights and a women’s flight. A shotgun start is scheduled at 8:30 a.m. The entry fee is $80 per person.
Contestants must enter by May 11. Entries should be mailed to DAV, Chapter 19, P.O. Box 450675, Grove, Okla. 74345. For more information, contact Chuck Bullock, 918-786-4853 or Harold Smith, 918-786-5084.
Hall of Fame
There is a significant change in the format of Joplin Golf Foundation’s Hall of Fame tournament scheduled April 20-21 at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club and at Briarbrook Golf Club.
It will be a four-person team shamble. The event in the past has been a 2-person scramble or a 2-person best ball.
The “shamble” format means that every player must hit a drive and the team then selects the best drive. All of the players then complete the hole playing their own ball. A friend of mine noted that the format is easier than a best ball, which makes it better for those with higher handicaps, and a little harder than a scramble, which should satisfy the low handicappers.