Birdies for the Brave® teams with tournaments and corporate sponsors to celebrate Veterans Day year round
Created 10 years ago by PGA TOUR player Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, Birdies for the Brave works tirelessly each year to honor and show appreciation to members of our U.S. Armed Forces and their families. This year, thousands of military members and their families have been touched by Birdies for the Brave through on-site engagement during PGA TOUR tournaments, fundraising events at the TOUR’s TPCs, or through programs and services provided by the 11 military homefront charities that are part of Birdies for the Brave, with the generous support of corporate partners.
We are all blessed by the service and sacrifice of our courageous American military members, veterans and their families. We hope everyone will keep all of them in their hearts and thoughts this Veterans Day.
United Rentals honors American heroes
United Rentals, the official equipment rental supplier of the PGA TOUR, teamed with Birdies for the Brave to honor and show appreciation to our military by launching a variety of military-focused programs during seven tournaments on the TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions in 2016. Among other programs, United Rentals sponsored Patriots’ Outpost military-exclusive hospitality chalets, providing military guests with complimentary food and beverages and an opportunity to share camaraderie with other military members while watching the best players in the world compete. In addition, United Rentals sponsored the Military Caddie Program at three tournaments, providing active duty service members with the unique opportunity to caddie for TOUR players on one hole during the official tournament Pro-Am.
“We feel privileged to work in partnership with the PGA TOUR and Birdies for the Brave to not only show members of our U.S. Armed Forces and their families how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice, but also offer tangible support by providing job opportunities with long-term career growth potential,” said Chris Cox, national sports and entertainment partnerships with United Rentals, Inc. “Military members possess the extraordinary critical thinking skills, discipline and leadership abilities most valued by employers, and we look forward to the opportunity to engage with and hire many of these military members and military family members using PGA TOUR tournaments as a recruiting platform.”
Glenmorangie finishes year of military fundraising
Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky, part of the Moet Hennessy portfolio of brands, underscored its long-standing support of Birdies for the Brave by presenting a check for $50,000 in support of wounded heroes and military families. The donation represented the culmination of fundraising that took place during the 2016 season at three PGA TOUR tournaments as part of the Birdies & Eagles Hole presented by Glenmorangie – including the Wyndham Championship, DEAN & DELUCA Invitational and Waste Management Phoenix Open. On Saturday and Sunday of tournament week at each event, Glenmorangie pledged to make a donation to Birdies for the Brave for every birdie and eagle made by PGA TOUR players on the designated military appreciation hole. In all, 127 birdies and six eagles were made by TOUR players at the three tournaments – including 76 birdies and six eagles at the Wyndham Championship.
“We are thrilled to work in partnership with Birdies for the Brave to help honor and express our sincere gratitude to military members and their families,” said Moet Hennessy USA Military Manager Alan Thompson. “It’s the very least we can do for those who selflessly put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe and protect our freedom.”
Tempur-Pedic donates the gift of sleep to military veterans
Tempur-Pedic, official mattress of the PGA TOUR, honored three military veterans living near tournament markets as part of the brand’s ‘Sleeping on the Lead’ campaign. Mark van Osdel of LeClaire, IA, Garrett Carnes of Burlington, N.C., and Murphy Hueston of Indianapolis, ID, all affiliated with a Birdies for the Brave homefront group, each received a new Tempur-Pedic bed. A U.S. Army veteran and former Navy rescue swimmer, van Osdel has overcome PTSD and other combat-related injuries thanks to his service dog, Chance, who also received his very own Tempur-Pedic dog bed.
“I can’t thank Tempur-Pedic enough for this gift,” said van Osdel. “It’s comfortable and allows me to get great sleep, which has been tough to find over the years. Along with my entire family and including Chance, we appreciate everything that Tempur-Pedic and Birdies for the Brave have done to support veterans as they transition into civilian life.”
Tempur-Pedic provides a comfy surprise for expectant military moms
Along with donating beds to veterans, Tempur-Pedic worked closely with Operation Shower, an official Birdies for the Brave homefront group, to recognize military moms for their service and sacrifice at a special baby shower prior to the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston this September. A raffle awarding one lucky mom with a Tempur-Pedic bed turned into a surprise for all 25 moms in attendance when they were each given the opportunity to select their very own Tempur-Pedic bed as well as a set of pillows and a teddy bear for their new baby.
“Seeing these moms light up when they learned that a new Tempur-Pedic bed was on its way was priceless,” said Amy Belle Isle, Chief Creative Officer at Operation Shower. “Having sponsors like Tempur-Pedic step up and show these families that they are appreciated and are supported during a very special time means a great deal and is such a special gift.”
Stryker Orthopaedics gives a new leash on life to veterans suffering from PTSD and/or TBI
Stryker Orthopaedics, official joint replacement products of the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions, wraps up its season-long commitment to Birdies for the Brave homefront group K9s For Warriors this weekend at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Earlier this year, Stryker announced a collaboration with the group to sponsor four service dogs that will be donated to veterans over the course of the year, in addition to making a donation for every Stryker hat purchased at the Stryker Mobility Zone on-site at each tournament.
“I’m very proud of the relationship Stryker has developed with the PGA TOUR over the years, combining our mission to educate people about joint health with our commitment to honoring our military,” said Bill Huffnagle, president of Stryker’s Reconstructive Division. “We are excited for next year and are looking forward to seeing the relationship continue to evolve.”
Bridgestone Invitational shows that home is where the heart is
And finally, Bridgestone and the Bridgestone Invitational teamed up with Birdies for the Brave to provide one military family with the surprise of a lifetime. Army Major Tim Jenkins has volunteered for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational for five years, working in a variety of capacities including serving remotely on the military appreciation committee while deployed to Kuwait. Previously scheduled to return home at the end of the summer, the Bridgestone Invitational and Birdies for the Brave worked with the 16-year military member to coordinate an early visit home and surprise Major Jenkins’ wife, Rania, and their four children, who had been invited to the military appreciation ceremony under the guise of honoring Major Jenkins for his service in absentia. Unbeknownst to the family, Major Jenkins was waiting in the wings during the ceremony to surprise his family on stage, alongside TOUR player and U.S. Navy veteran Billy Hurley III.
“I am speechless,” said Major Jenkins after the surprise homecoming. “To be given the opportunity to surprise my family in this way was an extraordinary gift, and I am very grateful to the Bridgestone Invitational, the PGA TOUR and Birdies for the Brave for making it happen. And then to have Billy Hurley take time away from his busy schedule during a tournament, on the heels of winning his first PGA TOUR title…that speaks volumes about his character and his passion for giving back. I really feel incredibly blessed!”