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I authored my first blog as the new Director of the Military Service Initiative for the George W. Bush Presidential Center just a few days after attending the Warrior 100K mountain bike ride with President Bush and severely wounded warriors in Palo Duro Canyon. Since then, those beautiful west Texas trails have given way to the majestic Dallas skyline and I have been adjusting to life outside of West Point. There have been numerous people who have shown me Texas-sized hospitality since my arrival and have positively impacted my civilian transition and I am truly grateful for their support. One of the most fulfilling responsibilities I currently have is to oversee the annual Warrior Open golf tournament next month featuring our U.S. service members who were severely wounded in the global war on terror. Defending champion CPL Chad E. Pfeifer will be joined by last year's top golfers, SGT Michael E. Stafford, SFC John E. Faulkenberry, 1LT Brian L. Donarski, SSgt Nicholas B. Bradley and approximately 15 new competitors who will take to the links at Las Colinas Country Club with President Bush. This year, I am proud to announce a new partnership with USO on a “Military Village” dedicated to highlighting the bravery and commitment of our servicemen and women. The USO’s mission is “Lifting the spirits of America's troops & their families” and I know first-hand that they excel in this area! The Military Village features military-friendly vendors; support organizations and entertainment showcased in a friendly and relaxed environment for our active duty, reserve, guard, veteran, and retiree guests. Please visit the Warrior Open website at www.warrioropen.com where you can learn more about this event. The inspiring warrior golfers who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are showcased on this site as well. Additionally, you can follow along with live online scoring on September 24-25 and cheer on the warriors from home. These rehabilitative sports events for our wounded warriors are only the beginning of the Military Service Initiative. I am deep into the final stages of the strategic engagement plan at The Bush Institute that honors the service and sacrifices our U.S. servicemen and women make for our freedom. I’ll update you on those plans in my next blog but until then, I am proud to serve not only these amazing heroes but also all of their families, fine people and organizations that support and uplift them every day, all across our great country. This post was written by Colonel Michael T. Endres, US Army, Retired; Director of the Military Service Initiative, George W. Bush Institute
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