RIA Soldiers caddy for pros, Bill Murray at the John Deere Classic
Six Soldiers from the U.S. Army Sustainment Command and First Army, both headquartered at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, met actor Bill Murray and professional golfers from around the world at the John Deere Classic here, July 8.
Every year during the Pro-Am portion of the tournament, Soldiers from the Arsenal are invited to caddy for golf professionals at the 15th hole as part of the Professional Golf Association's Birdies for the Brave program.
Staff Sgt. Shawn Hayden, ASC, said he enjoyed interacting with the golfers.
"It was so nice to see that the people you see on television are just normal everyday people like ourselves," he said. "What made the event really special was the attention the pros gave us and how they seemed genuinely interested in what we do. I was asked questions about the military and our way of life by all four golfers I caddied for."
In addition to meeting pro golfers, the Soldiers spent time with Murray walking down the fairway as he played golf.
"For me, it was a unique experience to walk alongside men who've walked alongside each other, serving some higher good that this country is built upon," Murray said.
On Sunday, July 12, Soldiers from First Army will act as 'Honorary Starters' at the first hole.
The tournament is free to service members and Veterans.
Maj. Shawn Muder, ASC; Maj. Wayne Stratton, ASC; Capt. Casey Lasley, ASC; Master Sgt. Michael Giesen, First Army; and Sgt. 1st Class Saudi Plowdeniz also caddied.