By Mike Peterson. Mike is a dedicated sales representative of American Warehouse Systems and is a proud supporter of our troops.
On August 15th, I had the pleasure of representing American Warehouse Systems at the third annual Tee it up for the Troops event at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, MN. The opening ceremony had many touching moments, including a 21 gun salute by the rifle squad from the Anoka County chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America, a bagpipe rendition of “America the Beautiful,” and an impromptu speech from Brig. Gen. Neal Loidolt, director of joint staff for the Minnesota National Guard. The most memorable moment for me, however, was when they called for all of the veterans and active duty soldiers to come up front to be recognized. The crowd literally emptied. It was a very humbling moment to witness. Some of these soldiers had visible scars from various wars, including tournament organizer John Kriesel, who himself is a double amputee from injuries he suffered in Iraq.
A number of celebrities were on hand to show their support and to golf in the tournament. Our group had the pleasure of golfing with former Minnesota Viking Stu Voigt, who played tight end for the team from 1970-1980. He kept us laughing the entire tournament. I also had the pleasure of golfing with my old friend Austin Getzel, a member of the MN National Guard’s HSSB Support Company out of Inver Grove Heights, MN. Austin was deployed to Iraq from September 2005- July 2007, and Egypt from September 2011-August 2012. It was an honor to golf with Austin, and it is always good to reconnect with an old friend! Although we were clearly not the best golfers on the course, some good shots were made and fun was had by all.
After we finished golfing, a delicious dinner was served and the closing ceremonies began. Those deserving of thanks were recognized, including tournament sponsors, celebrities and volunteers. Throughout the closing ceremonies, a military band was playing. At the end of the night, the band played songs from each branch of the military. As each individual song came on, all representatives from those branches stood up, creating yet another touching and memorable moment from the event. Although a final number has not yet been given, a lot of money was raised through sponsorships, silent auctions and raffle tickets. This was truly an amazing event that those who were involved will not soon forget.
American Warehouse Systems would like to thank our military representative Austin Getzel for golfing with our group and all veteran and active duty soldiers for protecting our freedom!