Monday, February 23, 2015

21st Event: Special Ops Warrior Foundation Charity Golf Tournament

Special OPs Golf, O&P Appointments with Buzz and a special CMTA meeting

Please note: These posts for events occurring between October 2014 and February 2015 are overdue but I wanted to finish each of them to start fresh once again. Starting in May of last year I began to struggle with extreme fatigue, which I first thought was simply the result of a very strenuous travel-work-running schedule. I worked hard to get “adequate rest” before launching into my busiest season at the start of September but by then I knew something more serious must be involved. In between road trips I scheduled consults, tests and medical procedures all the while trying to keep up with my events and obligations through the fall and winter. I’m happy to say I was able to manage this…but just barely. For each meeting, race, event, appearance, meal, speaking engagement or celebration you see in my blog photos, the reality was that I would go immediately back to my rental car or hotel and collapse with exhaustion. Although writing a blog requires little physical exertion I found myself feeling lethargic and unable to focus so instead I took advantage of the private moments to rest and conserve as much of my energy as possible.  When I finish updating the missing events I will provide a detailed explanation of my health issues as I hope my doctors have finally determined the cause and likely solution to the fatigue. Thank you for your understanding and patience!

Thursday, November 6th:

What a great day for a golf tournament! I've caught up on my rest and now we're off to meet Buzz at Isla del Sol Golf Resort where we're representing Allard USA in the Special Ops Warrior Foundation charity golf match. Allard chose to sponsor this special organization because of the support they provide for severely wounded or fallen soldiers and their families. This charity is top-notch and consistently is rated by Charity Navigator as a 4-star nonprofit and in the top 1% of all nonprofits they evaluate each year--nine years in a row! So I think you'll agree when you check out the SOWF website that they match up well with Allard's mission of "Providing Support For A Better Life". 

I am so humbled and very fortunate to have the opportunity to represent Allard USA in support of the SOWF today. Thank you to both organizations for making the world a better place for so many of us.

The view from my window as I'm leaving the hotel for Isla del Sol.

That's our team for today. SO EXCITED to meet Col. Craig Brotchie!

SOWF Board Member Craig Brotchie Inducted Into Air Commando Hall of Fame

Retired Air Force Colonel Craig Brotchie was inducted into the 2014 class of the Air Commando Hall of Fame Oct. 18, at the Air Commando Association annual banquet in Ft. Walton Beach, FL.
Brotchie, who lives in Tampa, serves on the board of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Selectees for the Hall of Fame have been assigned or attached for at least three years to an Air Force air commando or special operations unit; and have made significant contributions to the betterment of air commando forces or Air Force special operations forces.
Air Commandos have been deeply involved in overt and covert campaigns in all areas of the globe from World War II (Europe, Pacific, China, Burma, and India), Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Desert Shield/Storm, the Balkans, Kosovo, Iraq, Africa, Panama, Colombia, the Philippines, Afghanistan, and many more. 
I would also like to add that Col. Brotchie's wife just happens to be Ann Dunwoody, first female 4-Star General... I hope to meet her one day, too:

Ann Dunwoody: Cracking the ‘Brass Ceiling’
The military’s first female four-star general, Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, cracked the military’s “brass ceiling” in 2008, when she was awarded her fourth star and named commander of the Army Materiel Command, the unit that equips, outfits, and arms U.S. soldiers.
Not one to fancy herself a trailblazer, Dunwoody was reportedly uncomfortable with the label.
“History will, no doubt, take note of her achievement in breaking through this final brass ceiling to pin on a fourth star. But she would rather be known and remembered, first and foremost, as a U.S. Army soldier,” then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates said at Dunwoody’s promotion ceremony.
“I grew up in a family that didn’t know what glass ceilings were,” Dunwoody said, adding she “just wasn’t prepared for the enormity” of the milestone.
“There is no one more surprised than I — except, of course, my husband,” she joked. “You know what they say, ‘Behind every successful woman there is an astonished man.’”
Dunwoody — who says she herself “never worked for a female”  — joined the army in 1975 as part of the Women’s Army Corps, which was disbanded just three years later to allow integration of male and female troops.
She went on to become the first woman to be a battalion commander for the 82nd Airborne Division and later, the first woman to serve as a general at Fort Bragg.
Before her retirement in 2012, Dunwoody worked to curb sexual assault in the military, but has argued against there being a chauvinist mentality in the Army.
“There’s this notion that there is a ‘good old boy network’ that would allow people to sweep this under the rug,” Dunwoody said. “My experience is that’s not the case.”

Here are some scenes from our day in Isla del Sol:

Buzz Hanie seems to be enjoying Florida in November.

Allard was a hole sponsor today. While Jim takes the photo
Craig, myself and Buzz show our gratitude for Allard's
support of this terrific charity.

Our foursome with PGA Pro Andy Bean.

I had a laugh with Andy Bean when I told him that I witnessed his Greater Greensboro Open
win back in 1984. I was a senior in high school at the time and volunteered at the GGO
that year so I could get free weekend tickets. 

The tournament is so popular that they had to offer 2 shotgun starts
today, the first at 8:00am and our 12:30 pm tee-time. With the late start
we're rounding the last few holes as darkness threatens to overtake us.

The late-day play made for some spectacular views.

Hang on, Sun...just 3 holes left!

What a good-looking' team I got to golf with today.

Col. Brotchie has a powerful drive!

Thank you once again to Allard, Col. Brotchie, Buzz Hanie and
the Special OPs Warrior Foundation for a great day.

A full dinner for the hundreds of golfers and their guests.

Col. Brotchie is asked to stand in recognition of his service.

A great new friend! Craig, I hope you take us up on our offer of hosting you
and Ann for a weekend of golf in Greensboro some day soon. It was an honor
and a true pleasure to meet you.

Allard was one of a select few sponsors to be honored for
their support of this event. Buzz accepted the plaque on their behalf.

Friday, November 7th:

Schedule for today involves a 10AM appointment at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, a 12:00PM interview with a Charlotte, NC newspaper (in advance of next weekend's Thunder Road Half Marathon and TeamUP weekend) and an afternoon appointment with West Coast Brace & Limb. Please remember that inside hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities I am unable to take many due to patient privacy rights.

They have a cool rock-climbling wall at the VA Hospital. I wish
I could've seen it in use.

Buzz' mobile office!

Saturday, November 8th:

Only 1 event on our schedule for the day before I fly home this evening--finally!! I'm so excited about today's meeting though, I've been invited to attend the local CMTA support group meeting with Buzz Hanie and 2 local orthotists. The Charcot-Marie-Tooth-Association is one of my personal favorite support & action organizations and I love when I get to make more friends within this amazing group.

We're heading back across the bridge to St. Petersburg for the local
CMTA chapter meeting.

Thanks to St. Anthony's Hospital for the use of your
meeting room today.
The CMTA meeting was particularly poignant for me today as the majority of the 1.5 hour meeting was focused on bracing and on the intricacies and general practices of the O&P industry. An amazing Q&A took place between the 40 or so attendees, Buzz Hanie and the 2 local orthotists on hand to provide their expert insight. Not wanting to hog the entire meeting time, we stepped out after an hour but had requests for follow up from several of the attendees who wanted to try the Allard brace samples Buzz brought with him. I wish I was able to get video or photos but I was so engrossed in this great discourse that I neglected to ask for the necessary permissions.

Thank you to CMTA-St.Pete for including me in your meeting today! I hope to see you again in the coming months.

From St. Anthony's it was straight to the airport for Jim and me. After being in the warm sunshine (California, Arizona and Florida) for the past 3 weeks I'm a bit reluctant to dip my toes in the cold waters of winter back home. However I'm VERY EXCITED that in 3 days I will be in Charlotte getting to see ALL of my TeamUP co-captains for the first time in a year-and-a-half!
Back to the Tampa airport where I'm psyching myself up
to leave sunny Florida for the frigid temps in NC.

See you in Charlotte!

1 comment:

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