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#3 | Celebrating the Bush Center's top ten milestones of 2011

December 29, 2011 5 minute Read by Hannah Abney

Milestone #3: Hosted the inaugural Warrior Open

On October 10th and 11th, President George W. Bush hosted the second event, following the W100k, emphasizing the importance of sports - like mountain biking and golf - to the rehabilitation process for many of those seriously injured on the front lines.

The Warrior Open, a 36-hole golf tournament featuring U.S. service members who were severely wounded in the global war on terror, continues President Bush’s efforts to honor the men and women of our nation’s Armed Forces who have sacrificed to protect America’s freedoms.

President Bush presented the Winner’s Trophy to Corporal Chad E. Pfeifer, United States Army (Retired), currently of Scottsdale, Arizona.

The tournament, held at Las Colinas Country Club in the Dallas area, featured 20 members of the military who served their country honorably and were severely wounded during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Warriors include: Staff Sergeant Dale I. Beatty, USA, Ret. from Statesville, North Carolina; Sergeant Justin W. Bond, USA, Ret. from Hanford, California; Staff Sergeant Nicholas B. Bradley, USAF, Ret. from Shalimar, Florida; Sergeant Thomas J. Brooks, USMC from Rockville, Maryland; First Lieutenant Brian L. Donarski, USA, from Fayetteville, North Carolina; Sergeant First Class John E. Faulkenberry, USA from Selma, Texas; Staff Sergeant David W. Flowers, USAF, from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Petty Officer First Class Kenneth R. Hendrickson, USN, Ret. from Rosemount, Minnesota; Staff Sergeant Scott P. Lilley, USAF, Ret. from San Antonio, Texas; Staff Sergeant Daniel E. Nevins, USA, Ret., from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; First Lieutenant Denis M. Oliverio, USMC, Ret. from Hollywood, Maryland; Sergeant First Class Ramon Padilla Munguia, USA, Ret. from Waldorf, Maryland; Corporal Chad E. Pfeifer, USA, Ret. from Scottsdale, Arizona; Sergeant Tracy M. Reep, USA, Ret. from Grand Prairie, Texas; Sergeant Peter J. Richert, USA, Ret. from Hillsboro, Kansas; Staff Sergeant Jason P. Roberts, USMC from Wilmington, North Carolina; Technical Sergeant David S. Romanowsky, USAF, Ret., from Aurora, Colorado; Gunnery Sergeant William T. Rosborough, USMC, Ret. from Hubert, North Carolina; Sergeant Brian D. Saaristo, USA, Ret. from Barnum, Minnesota; and Sergeant Michael E. Stafford, USA, Ret. from Okolona, Mississippi.

President Bush joined the veterans during a practice round on Sunday, where professional golfer Greg Norman played along and provided tips to the warriors. After the first 18-hole day of the tournament, the warriors and their families, as well as the warrior support organizations, were honored at a dinner at SMU, followed by a surprise performance by country stars Rascal Flatts.

“The purpose of the Warrior Open is to celebrate those who have served our country, and to remind our fellow citizens how fortunate we are to have men and women volunteer in the face of danger. I knew I would be impressed by the courage of our warriors. I will tell you this tournament has exceeded my expectations.”

On April 12, 2007, while serving as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Corporal Chad Pfeifer’s truck was hit with a pressure plate IED that resulted in the amputation of his left leg above the knee. While recuperating from his injury, Corporal Pfeifer picked up golf as a form of therapy and fell in love with the game. He is now pursuing a career in golf and is working his way through the PGA Apprentice Program in Scottsdale.

After receiving the inaugural Warrior Open trophy from President Bush, Pfeifer said, “This one being the first one, it’s an honor to get it; but to all of our brothers and sisters who paid the ultimate sacrifice, this one’s for them.”

The tournament also recognized the many organizations that give their time, talent and resources to support the men and women of our military and their families. The organizations highlighted by the Bush Center include: Hope For The Warriors®, Salute Military Golf Association, Semper Fi Fund, and the Troops First Foundation.

The tournament was made possible by many corporate donors, who were publicly thanked by President Bush during the opening ceremonies, including ClubCorp, American Airlines, TaylorMade, Ewing Automotive Group, Omni Hotels and Briggs Equipment.


Author

Hannah Abney
Hannah Abney

Hannah Abney directs strategic communications and messaging for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, leading a team responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies that help advance the Bush Center’s work in developing leaders, fostering policy, and taking action to save and change lives.

Prior to joining the Bush Center, she led public relations activities for consumer and non-profit brands at The Richards Group.  Abney also led communications efforts  at a national retail trade association in Washington, DC, and served in the George W. Bush Administration in the Vice President’s Office.

A native of Milwaukee, WI, she is a graduate of the Southern Methodist University (B.A., Music) and lives in Dallas with her husband and young sons. 

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