TRIPLE THREAT - BY TIM NORRIS, Florida Weekly
As far as he knows, touranment director Ed McEnroe says, none of the PGA tour pros battling over the Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa last year hit a helicopter.
He doesn't expect that this year, either, during the Classic's tournament week, Feb. 24-March 2 in Palm Beach Gardens, though the choppers will be parked clearly in sight. They're beyond, he says, the golfers' line-of-fire.
Regardless, the Honda's Military Appreciation effort clearly is taking off, and that gives Joe Brown — Command Sergeant Major Joseph Brown, U.S. Army Reserves — a great sense of welcome and promise.
Brown serves as a “citizen-soldier,” a reservist supporting the active-duty regulars. He has worn the Army uniform 36 of his 55 years, in field artillery and then in transportation logistics, climbing in rank and responsibility. He’s now assigned to the Deployment Support Command out of Birmingham, Ala., which oversees much of the transportation worldwide for the Army Reserve, 68 units in 21 states and 11 countries.
On his citizen side, Brown also works in the civilian world, as Criminal Justice Coordinator at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce and as a deputy in the Indian River County Sheriff’s Department.
He has seen what military service and tours-of-duty do for and to soldiers and their families. He knows that combat can be both glorified and reviled, and that not everyone is comfortable with the trappings of war or the military’s training and preparation for it, or with its dovetail with corporate profits and political and commercial flagwaving.
He also knows what it means to serve.
What matters most about the Honda’s and the PGA Tour’s efforts, he says, is their welcome for soldiers and their families and acknowledgment of their sacrifices and troubles.
“Oh, my God, that’s huge,” he says. “Huge. Just the awareness, and acceptance, and support. I could go on and on about all of those.”
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