MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
A bright, clear morning greeted golfers at the Medal of Honor Golf Course, aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, on April 25, 2014, as they loaded their golf carts and prepared to start the Putt for the Paw Golf Tournament.
More than a dozen teams registered to play the tournament as a benefit for the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Pets for Vets organization which works to provide service members with companion animals, not to be confused with service animals.
“Most veterans that come to us have Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, depression or anxiety,” said Kim Phillips, director of the area Pets for Vets chapter. “We want to spread word to the military that we exist and want to help them. All the proceeds [from the tournament] go to help veterans get animals.”
Brad Booth, assistant golf professional, said the golf course administration was happy to partner with Pets for Vets.
“That’s why we’re here,” said Booth. “[We like to do] anything we can to give back.”
Phillips said the golf course staff was very helpful in bringing the vision, which is scheduled to be an annual event, to fruition.
“The golf course has been wonderful,” said Phillips. “They were on board from Day 1, and have been incredible. It’s a great feeling to know they wanted to have us here.”
Games, like beat the pro, a putting competition, longest drive and closest to the pin, were scattered throughout the course to raise money for the organization.
“It supports veterans, the base and allows office camaraderie,” said Jim Fraley, tournament participant. “Our office got together and said, ‘let’s do it.’”
Phillips and12 other volunteers, along with the Medal of Honor Golf Course staff, facilitated the event to help what Phillips said can is an important service.
“You’re not alone,” said Phillips. “Sometimes animals do more for people that another human being, and we want to provide that for them.”
Another Pets for Vets tournament is in planning for next year around the same time.