This past weekend, the 03XX Foundation was invited to attend a “golf tournament”. Steve Hotz, a retired 82nd Airborne bubba and his wife, Amy, invited us out to the The Caddy Shack Golf Tournament at a hunting club where they’re members. This wasn’t just an ordinary golf tournament – unless you typically mix up a round of golf with some high power weaponry. For those present, it was a chance to partici-pate in a new sporting and fundraising concept and also the perfect melding of patriotic sports enthusi-asts, veterans of various branches, and 12 active duty Marines from Quantico. Gratefully, I was able to attend; finally able to meet our Case Management Director, Chris Marzoni, for the first time. Heath Sil-cott, a brother from 2/2 who served with me in the invasion of Iraq, brought his wife. I hadn’t seen Heath in a decade or more. What better place to see him again than a venue like this!
The club is a large swath of Virginia countryside located in Amherst County, Virginia. Nestled in the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s peaceful, serene, and a great place to hide for a while. It’s the perfect environment for a large group of various skillsets to come together in common interest. Tony Metz, a wily ole’ leatherneck from the 70’s era, holds this 3,000 acre lease where his club, The Future Sportsmen of Virginia, manage the property and host various events. Tony has been an ardent supporter of the 03XX Foundation since being introduced by Steve a couple years back, and he loves to share the camp with everyone he can. We were about to have one hell of a time slinging lead with Marines from various infantry units, cooking and eating wild fare, and getting back to our primal roots. It felt good to be back in the woods.
On Saturday, everyone arrived and we began the course. The rimfire (Front 9) section was challenging in it’s own way, however, the long range course (Back 9) seemed to be everyones kryptonite. We paired everyone into teams of two and, naturally, the Marines placed in every winning team. 1st Place was taken by a young sergeant who went by the name of Patch Adams. Oddly enough, one of my guys Erik Fredrickson (Freddy) from 2/2 was his squad leader in Afghanistan. You tend to forget how small the Corps is until you find out little things like that. We broke for lunch, finished up the course, and went back to the camp to relax for a bit. Later that evening, after dinner, some of the guys went out to look for coyotes, while others sat around the campfire laughing and talking.
The weekend was a huge success. We were able to tell our story to active duty Marines prior to EAS, which is incredibly important to their transition out of the Corps. Better yet, we had a great time doing it. The camaraderie was amazing. We had the time of our life with fantastic people, we trained, and ate some kick ass food. It was therapeutic being out in the woods and getting primal with the boys and girls. In December, we’re being hosted for all veteran/military hunt on club property. I’m advising that if you’re reading this, you will want to be at the next one. This was an event for the books – only to be topped by the official tournament and hunt coming soon.