COVID-19 delayed this year’s ninth annual Eagles under the Oaks Golf Benefit, but you can’t keep a goodhearted person down for long as evidenced at today’s sold out golf tournament.
This year, organizers are hoping to raise more than the $35,000 that rolled in last year to help our local veterans.
Armed with clubs and putters, golfers from all walks of life were swinging for a good cause Friday to help out combat wounded veterans and like any good soldier on the front lines, Eddie Loosier is determined to leave no man behind and even take one for the team. “We would have had a better game, but we have a guy named Bill Fox who just can’t play. He’s in here with us, but other than that we would be doing pretty good. You can do things like this for a lot of reasons, but for the veterans, that’s just something special.”
Eagles under the Oaks was in full swing Friday at the Oaks Golf Club in Pass Christian and there were even a few birdies under those oaks. Joe Bannister said, “I was 19 years old in Vietnam and in the Marine Corps. I got two purple hearts. Everything they do with the benefits from this tournament, for the people who get the benefits, it’s absolutely outstanding. It’s wonderful they do this. I love this tournament, love it. (Even though you tell me your wife is beating you.) Hey, she’s a good golfer. I call her Down the Middle Kathy. She hits it down the middle Kathy. She hits it down the middle every time.”
But there’s no middle ground for the Wounded Combat Veterans of South Mississippi, a nonprofit that’s had to roll with the changes due to COVID this year as they continue to bridge the gaps for local veterans. Wounded Combat Veterans of South Mississippi Founder Donna Anderson said, “We’ve had to really improvise this year and be really innovative with getting computers so they learned how to e-file. We can’t do a lot of stuff in person. We’ve been out in our cars, going out, helping pay bills, whether it’s agencies in our areas that we can go and pay bills, such as phone bills, for them, so that way they can keep in communication with the V.A. and with their medical care.”
Congressman Steven Palazzo said, “They’re making a reality to take care of all our veterans. What better day to do it, on 9/11, to not only celebrate our veterans’ service, but to also thank people for stepping up and taking care of our veterans.”
Regardless of the final score, all these players are champions in the eyes of those who have sacrificed so much to secure the freedoms we still enjoy today.