Soldiers and veterans ‘scramble it up’ on the golf course

Story and Photos By Staff Sgt. Michael J. Dator, 3d CR Public Affairs


FORT HOOD, Texas – More than 68 Soldiers and 25 Vietnam veterans participated in a golf scramble May 22 at the Courses of Clear Creek golf course as part of Phantom Warrior Week.  Competitive teams from units around post competed for a chance to win the III Corps first place trophy as well as commander’s cup points for the first, second, and third place finishers. Vietnam veterans in attendance were recognized for the sacrifices they made decades ago, and were given the opportunity for a little “tee-time” on the green.

"Today’s Soldiers really look up to veterans and admire them," said Sgt. Maj. William R. Burford, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the scramble. “The vets have a lot of wisdom to offer us – they bring to the table valuable knowledge that those currently serving can learn from,” he said.

A golf scramble is played with 4-man teams. Each player on the team tees at each hole - the best shot from each hole is selected and scored. At the end of the hole, the process is repeated and scores are tallied using the highest total from the teams.

A short brief explaining the rules of the competition were given before the start of the tournament. Players commenced to play 18 holes of golf throughout the course of the day.

"Playing in events like this do more than provide a little bit of fun,” said 1st Sgt. Chris Bowman, first sergeant of Troop E, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment. “Competitions such those in Phantom Warrior Week fosters camaraderie within the team as well as improve relations in the workplace,” he said.

As the day progressed, veterans and Soldiers mingled on the golf course and shared past experiences with each other.

“I appreciate seeing all the young Soldiers out there in support of what we had to go through,” said Maj. (Ret) Steven W. Thompson, a former psychological operations officer during the war in Vietnam. “Even though we’re separated by a number of years, we share a common bond – we’re all comrades in arms; we’re Soldiers,” he said.

An awards ceremony was held at the conclusion of the event. Brig. Gen. Dean Milner, the deputy commanding general of III Corps, presented trophies to the top three teams.

The team representing 13 Expeditionary Sustainment Command took first place.

The team representing 3rd Cavalry Regiment took second place.

The team representing 1st Medical Brigade took third place.

“You can’t beat a chance to go out and play a little bit of golf,” said Milner. “Even more so when you get a great group of Soldiers and veterans together on a beautiful,” he said.