News: Golfers support injured heroes
Story by Lance Cpl. Cayce Nevers
IWAKUNI, Japan - Eight Marines and sailors participated in the golf-a-thon fundraiser at the Torii Pines Golf Course here, June 10, in support of fallen and injured military members.
The Marines and sailors who participated in the all-day golf fundraiser were Louis Starnes, Robert Pippin, Troy Ruby, Jerry Woods, Keith Applegate, Travis Eno, Geno Johnston and Ryan Chilson.
The fundraiser was put together by these same Marines and sailors with hopes to raise money for Sgt. Joshua Elliott, a Marine whose legs and half of his left hand were blown off by an improvised explosive device while deployed to Afghanistan, as well as the Wounded Warrior Project.
Elliott served two tours here aboard the air station, completing his most recent one this past summer.
According to a Stars and Stripes article, friends and acquaintances said although he was no longer aboard the air station, his presence was still felt.
According to the same article, Elliott had only been in Afghanistan for three months when he led Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines into what the media called “the most dangerous place on earth,” the Sangin District.
Elliott made his way through a building that needed to be cleared.
He went through the building to the stairs leading to the rooftop. He managed to get three gunners up on the roof and made his way back downstairs where he stepped on the missed IED, said the article.
“After hearing about Sgt. Elliott’s story, I thought this would be a good idea because I love to golf, and I thought why not, it raises money, and I get to do something I love,” said Johnston.
The participants of this fundraiser accepted pledges for each golfer as well as overall donations. Pledges were made per hole, par, birdie, lost ball and many more.
The money earned by these eight men was more than they had anticipated.
“We had originally thought maybe $2,000,” said Applegate. “We thought $1,000 for the Sgt. Elliott Fund and $1,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project would be good. We earned well over $2,000, more like $7,000 or more.”
The men decided to split the money earned. Half the total earned went toward the fund and half to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The eight men started the day of golfing at 4:27 a.m. and continued until they hit their goal of 108 holes.
The players managed to make their goal of 108 holes by 6:10 p.m.
It took the eight men almost 14 hours to golf 108 holes.
Not all of the money raised was based on pledges. Quite a few only wanted to donate and not pledge.
With more than $7,000 raised for both Elliott and the Wounded Warrior Project, the eight men spent a whole day golfing and doing something they all loved for a good cause.
Elliott and his family are grateful for the support that has been pouring in from Elliott’s friends and acquaintances, said Elliott’s parents Dennis and DeLynn Elliott.
With the support received and the ever giving support of others, Elliott and other wounded warriors are still alive today.