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Military Appreciation Day at TPC Sawgrass

7:20 PM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Military Appreciation Day at TPC Sawgrass

Birdies for the Brave Ceremony

PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- Wednesday was all about service men and women at THE PLAYERS Championship.

The Birdies for the Brave held a special presentation for military heroes.

"It's just nice. It's nice that people are actually starting to care and people are paying more attention to the vets," U.S. Army Veteran Tyler Steinle said.

Steinle flew to Jacksonville from California for the recognition. 

The PGA Tour presented the wounded warrior with an honorary TPC Summerlin membership. 

Steinle served in the Army for five years, but just when re-enlisted for another five years, he suffered several injuries from Improvised Explosive Device blasts in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010.

"Fortunately I came back with all my remains by whole body but some other people weren't as fortunate," said Steinle.

Dell presented 10 wounded warriors with laptops and laptop bags -- gifts that Army Veteran Joane Dandurand will put to good use.

"I'm going to use it for college. I'm an OSU student, the first one in my family to go to a university," said Dandurand. 

Dandurand was also the first in her family to join the military, but was medically discharged after her first year for multiple sclerosis. This week, K9s for Warriors provided her with a service dog that changed her life.

"She's actually been alerting me when I start getting muscle spasms," said Dandurand.

The ceremony also included the Re-Enlistment Oath for Daniel Daugherty. He has been in the Navy for 14 years and signed on for another six years.

"The big thing for me is that it's a lot of pride and the big thing now is that I have a son is taking care of him and protecting him," said Daugherty. 

Daugherty said he moved to Jacksonville in 2002 and the city welcomed with open arms.

"It's my relocated home. I don't plan on leaving here once I get out of the Navy. I'm going to retire here in Jacksonville," said Daugherty. 

THE PLAYERS Patriots Outpost literally caters to military families.

Last year, more than 12,000 military members and their loved ones were fed and entertained at the post. 

Leslie Fuqua said he has been in the Navy for 17 years, he moved to Jacksonville in 2009, and volunteers at TPC every year.

"Everything we do here just makes us feel warm and welcome," said Fuqua. 

A big part of the welcoming feeling includes the non-military golf lovers who salute and thank the men and women in uniform. 

"They do so much for the country and a little appreciation is always nice for anybody," said Ponte Vedra resident Jerry Sanders.

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