Stylin’ and Profilin’ While Supporting Our Veterans with the Patriot Pro Shop

Attention all golfers and golfing families…“Introducing our fully revamped online Patriot Pro Shop!”

Let’s be honest: One of the many fun aspects of playing golf is the dress code. White belts, white shoes, chartreuse shirts, and wild shorts make for some serious peacock strutting down the fairways. Golf attire is often loud and fun, as it should be.

This year, along with wearing the loud, we want to encourage you to wear the proud.

Are you wondering what to wear to this year’s Tee It Up for the Troops golf tournaments? Or do you need some patriotic clothing for Memorial Day, July Fourth, or for the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits Golf Club?

You’re in luck! We have made it easy for you to get your red, white, and blue on with our new brands available now through our online store, the Patriot Pro Shop.

man, child, and woman, standing and wearing 'tee it up for the troops' themed polos and jacketssWe have fully revamped our Patriot Pro Shop to include the Tee It Up for the Troops brands you’ve been asking for! We now have outerwear (rain jackets, vests, and more), expanded headwear (Bora Bora hats, bucket hats, visors, and more), youth apparel, additional accessories (golf balls, coolers, tote bags, and more), and we’re also proud to offer a new line of American-made products.

When you purchase your golf attire and accessories through our Patriot Pro Shop, you are directly supporting U.S. veterans and their families. You can also purchase confidently, knowing that 94 cents out of every dollar donated goes directly to supporting our programs, while just six cents on the dollar goes to administrative costs!

When you purchase our Tee It Up for the Troops brand golf wear, you’re helping us advertise and promote one of the most respected charities in the nation. By wearing our brand merchandise, you are creating and promoting awareness of the daily issues that our veterans face. You never know; one day, you might have the perfect volunteer for our organization in your foursome, and he or she might not even be aware of Tee It Up for the Troops and what we do. Branding and marketing matter. And our veterans matter even more.

Yes, our merchandise is about golf attire and accessories, but it’s also about so much more. You can help simply by stylin’ and profilin’ our brands the next time you are out on the links.

And here’s more great news! Our Patriot Pro Shop has e-gift cards! You can purchase the electronic gift card and have it sent to your email address for easy printing and/or forwarding to the recipient of your choice. Then, the receiver of the e-gift card can pick out whatever he or she wants from our Patriot Pro Shop.

You can also purchase your e-gift cards right here at the Patriot Pro Shop. Enjoy free shipping for orders over $75. Orders under $75 dollars are shipped for just $5.95.

We hope you’ll enjoy our all-new Patriot Pro Shop. We’re excited to help you get all your red, white, and blue as well as stars-and-stripes golf gear to make you look great on the course—all the while helping to create awareness of the needs of our military veterans and families.

We can’t wait to see you at our tournaments this year, and thank you for your continued support! Shop here: Patriot Pro Shop

What Charity Events Will You Participate in 2021?

Are you looking ahead to which charity events you might want to participate in this year? What causes will you or your company support and give back to society? Unfortunately, COVID-19 didn’t go away with the coming of a new year. Social distancing recommendations are still in place, and many charitable organizations are rethinking their giving strategies. The ongoing pandemic will prevent the usual in-person galas and other indoor fundraising events for the near future. However, there is one fundraising activity that offers a safe, healthy, socially distanced, outdoor activity during these days of COVID-19 and that is GOLF.

A Good Year for Charity Golf Events

Golf—a naturally social distant sport is the perfect fundraising event for 2021! We have learned through our many events held across the country in 2020 that we can bring golfers, sponsors, and volunteers safely together. Ask any combat veteran and they will tell you—innovation is often the key to survival and to carry out the mission at hand. Their mission being, keeping us safe and free. These days, it is our turn to be innovative and carry out our mission; to honor, remember, respect, and support all those who serve(d) in the Armed Forces of this great nation.

Golf is booming; people want and need to get outdoors. Golfers are ready to play, and sponsors are ready to advertise-so a Tee It Up for the Troops Charity Event is a WIN-WIN for all! We host quality charity events across the nation, held at great golf courses and for a good cause-benefiting our military veterans and their families.

Why Our Golf Events Are a Win-Win

94 cents out of every dollar raised at our Tee It Up for the Troops golf events is invested directly to supporting our veterans. Our pillars of support address every aspect of a veteran’s life.

  • Family and Care Giver Support
  • PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Employment
  • Golf and Sports Rehabilitation.

Other Reasons to Participate in Our Golf Events

  • Our charity events give you the opportunity to meet veterans and hear their stories in a safe, naturally distanced environment.
  • Our charity events can boost the morale of your employees and organization by offering a patriotic cause to support and give back.
  • Playing golf and being outdoors is a great exercise.
  • Golf is accessible to all ages. Everyone can participate, and your participation absolutely makes a difference in the lives of our veterans and their families.

As you plan how you and your company are going to give in 2021, we ask that you please consider joining or sponsoring a Tee It Up for the Troops Golf Event. Most of our events sold out quickly last year, so plan now for sponsorship and attendance or find a local event now.

Whether or not you’re a golfer, you can make a commitment to supporting those who have fought to protect our freedoms. Please consider standing alongside our esteemed list of sponsors. Click here to become a charity sponsor or donate today!

We have high hopes for 2021. Humanity is resilient, strong, innovative, hopeful, and generous. We thank you for your generous contribution and the positive impact you will be making this year.

Doing Good with Every Dollar You Donate

Let’s start with the most pressing question people ask when donating to a non-profit charity organization. How much of my hard-earned money is going directly to the cause?

At Tee It Up for the Troops, 94 cents out of every dollar contributed goes directly to support our military veterans and their families. Ninety-four cents out of every dollar goes directly to the programs and services that our veterans truly need and appreciate—programs and services that help provide a life with a little less hardship.

Out of every dollar you donate, just SIX CENTS—one nickel and a penny—goes towards overhead and administrative costs!

According to bizfluent.com, the average non-profit typically spends between 15-40% of revenue towards administrative costs. We can proudly say that Tee It Up for the Troops administrative costs are remarkably low and we are very efficient with donations received!

We are a military fundraising organization here to help our military veterans with the support and services they so desperately need, and we maximize the value of our resources. Our golf fundraisers throughout the country boast dedicated event leaders, committees, and volunteers who put on fabulous events and work hard and efficiently to support veterans. Tee It Up for the Troops also works with generous charity sponsor partners creating deeper collaboration and financial support to positively impact veterans and their families. We do our absolute best to honor and steward the money going to our veterans and their families to make a greater impact across the nation. 

How Does the Public Evaluate Non-Profit Expenditures?

There are no set rules or guidelines that determine how much money a non-profit can spend on management, general administration, and fundraising. However, the government requires all non-profits to disclose their administrative cost on Form 990, along with their income tax return each year. These forms are public information.

Charitable watchdog groups then provide information, reviews and ratings for nonprofit organizations. A weak review or low rating from one of these watchdog groups will rightfully discourage potential donors.

You do not need to hesitate when making your charitable donation to Tee It Up for the Troops. We are extremely proud of what we can do with a nickel and a penny!

Watchdog Ratings for Tee It Up for the Troops

Tee It Up for the Troops has recently received high marks from several of these impartial watchdog groups.

Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator rates organizations on financial health, accountability, and transparency. Charity Navigator helps highlight what percentage of a monetary donation is going directly to the support of the nonprofit’s mission. Charity Navigator has given Tee It Up for the Troops an Encompass Rating of 100 out of 100! A score of 75 or above indicates that a nonprofit is effective and transparent based on Charity Navigator’s criteria. This means you can give with confidence!

GuideStar

GuideStar provides information on spending and income by providing access to Form 990, which is the basic Internal Revenue Service filing document. We are proud to have received GuideStar’s Gold Rating! Again, you can give with confidence knowing that your donation contributes substantially to our mission to support veterans and their families.

GreatNonprofits

GreatNonprofits is the leading platform for community-sourced stories about nonprofits. These are the stories submitted by people who have first-hand knowledge and experience with the non-profit: veterans, military family members, sponsors, donors, volunteers and supporters. We were named a “2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit” and received a five-star rating. There are over 57 current stories regarding Tee It Up for the Troops on their website. We invite you to read through a few of these uplifting stories. You can give with confidence.

From Tee It Up for the Troops President and Executive Director, Tim Wegscheid

“Our role is two-fold. One, we are providing critically needed services to veterans and their families to help them achieve a quality of life that they have earned and deserve. That is priority number one. To make that happen, we have to do our absolute best to be fiscally responsible with every dollar entrusted to our organization. Six cents on the dollar takes focus and effort, but without a doubt, our military veterans and their families are worth every bit of effort that we can provide.”   – Tim Wegscheid President and Executive Director, Tee It Up for the Troops.

Contribute to Our Mission Today

We are very proud of the efficiencies at Tee It Up for the Troops and hope that gives you confidence. Your hard-earned money is making a difference and going to programs that make an impact on veterans and their families.  Contribute today online, or take some time to find a local Tee It Up for the Troops event near you to contribute through. We promise to do our absolute best to be good stewards of your support!

Support the military charity golf event

Time Is Running Out to Qualify for CARES Act Charitable Contributions: Give to Help Veterans Heal Today!

Have you heard the numbing statistic that 22 veterans succumb to suicide every day in the United States? This staggering statistic does not even include the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, which has hit our veterans tremendously hard, intensifying their personal battles with the invisible wounds of war.

At Tee It Up for the Troops, we are making a difference and we are asking for your help. Through the nearly 550 golf charity events help since 2005, Tee It Up for the Troops has granted over $11 million to provide critically needed services to veterans and their families. This year, due to the coronavirus outbreak, we have had to cancel many charity events and are faced with losing critical fundraising dollars we would normally use to support our American heroes.

Unfortunately, the needs of our combat veterans have not been canceled. These men and women volunteered and fought for our freedom and they are not getting the services they need. We believe we can and should do better by them and are asking for your help to be able to do so.

As the end of the year approaches, we hope we can count on you to support Tee It Up for the Troops and military families. Especially during these difficult times, we hope you will donate now and help us fight for those who fought for us!

Donate before January 1 and Qualify for the CARES Act Charitable Contribution Deduction

If you are looking to support a cause that is near and dear to our military and veterans, you can support Tee It Up for the Troops and take advantage of this qualifying charitable contribution. This special pandemic tax deduction is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020. Donate online today at https://teeitupforthetroops.org/donate

Thank you for your consideration and support!

Christmas 1944 in Bastogne, Belgium

Our nation is replete with military Christmas stories that changed the course of history and made a positive impact on countless individual lives.

For many of us, our thoughts of our military during Christmas often turn to December 1944, that terribly cold Christmas during the Battle of the Bulge. Our American troops were out-numbered, out-gunned, out-supplied, and being asked to hold a seventy-five-mile line in brutal freezing conditions. So dire was the outlook that the commanding German officer asked for a complete and immediate surrender. And we know the one-word reply returned by General Anthony McAuliffe: “Nuts!”

The written journals and interviews of American troops paint a profound picture of the reality of war during the siege of Bastogne, December 1944. With the line spread thin, and men being separated or momentarily lost during the fighting of Christmas Eve, these Christmas stories from the siege of Bastogne still speak to us today.

 

Corporal Frank D. Vari’s Christmas

“I spent Christmas Eve pressed against the walls of my foxhole as shells exploded around me all night long. We could hear their guns going off and the shells landing at the same time. They were close. They almost surrounded the whole place. I remember Christmas Day. I got up, and we had a real bad night, with artillery and everything. The first thing I saw was the steeple of a church down in the valley. It was a beautiful day, the sun was just coming up over a little village at the bottom.– Cpl. Frank D. Vari

 

Christmas Carols with a Belgian Family

“We were out in the outskirts of Bastogne; we found this farmhouse. Inside was a man, and a little boy, and a little girl, and his wife. She gave us some soup and some black bread. We stayed there all night in this farmhouse. The war was going on fiercely outside, and for some reason the farmhouse never got hit. We were there Christmas Eve, we sang Christmas songs that night with this Belgian family. We sang Jingle Bells and Silent Night. The words were different, but the music was the same…”

Keith Davis in an interview with the BBC Witness Podcast

 

A Christmas Meal with the Germans

A Belgian man narrated this story he experienced as a boy on Christmas Eve during the Battle of the Bulge. He and his mother were alone in their farmhouse in the war’s midst, surviving the unrelenting cold, and the reality of the unknown.

“It was Christmas Eve, and a very cold night. Many soldiers on both sides became lost from their units and were looking for a place to stay. Three American soldiers saw the smoke from the chimney. They knocked on the door and then came in. My mother had a small chicken cooking.

One soldier was wounded, and she tried to make him comfortable. There was a language barrier for a time, till one soldier found out she spoke French and German.  For a while it was quiet, and then suddenly a knock and push at the door. The Americans went for their guns. My mother quickly called out in German, ‘Welcome on Christmas Eve, I have guests!’.  Four soldiers quickly came in.

Four German soldiers, and three American soldiers in our small house, amid war and fighting. My French and German speaking mother says, ‘no killing on Christmas Eve,’ and tells them to lay down their weapons! They were all in the room together. Soldiers who a little while ago were bent on killing each other laid their weapons down. We all shared what food we had; we sang Silent Night in our native tongues. Later these enemies all went to sleep under the same roof. 

In the morning, the German soldiers built a stretcher for the wounded American and even gave them directions on how to back to their lines.

I often think of the gift these men gave to my family that night, the gift they gave to each other.”

Tee It Up for the Troops this Christmas

The Christmas stories of these military heroes demonstrate why Tee It Up for the Troops works hard to support America’s veterans. A veteran should never have to spend a Christmas cold again. As we read these Christmas stories from long ago, we are hopefully prompted and inspired to ask ourselves this Christmas season: What can we give to each other? What can we give to our military veterans and their families?

Our vision is to help active-duty service members, veterans, and their families from all branches and all conflicts to heal, transition, grow and thrive.

There are many ways for you and your business to contribute to our mission of serving soldiers and their families. We encourage you to read the current-day stories of hope and resilience on our website. We invite you to see how we are investing your donations. We hope you find a way to support a veteran and their family today. You can donate immediately here: https://teeitupforthetroops.org/donate/

From all of us at Tee It Up for the Troops,

Merry Christmas

Giving Thanks and Giving Back

The first thought that comes to many people’s minds when Thanksgiving arrives is the Thanksgiving meal. There is of course the star of the show: the turkey. There are also all our favorite side dishes: stuffing and sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, and a whole lineup of pies!

When we sit at such a bountiful feast with our family and friends, there is a lot to see and to be thankful for—and a lot worth giving back for.

Giving Tuesday

Thanksgiving for many also signals the start of the holiday giving season, beginning with Giving Tuesday, which is the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States. Giving Tuesday is a movement that provides the opportunity for people to contribute to charities that support local communities. Tee It Up for the Troops has been honored to receive Giving Tuesday gifts, and we ask for you to consider supporting our veterans-focused charity during this unprecedented holiday giving season.

Why Our Veterans Need and Deserve Help this Holiday Season

Our American military veterans are heroes. Every single veteran is an American hero. Ordinary men and women who answer the call, put on the uniform, and perform their duties with pride, honor, and dignity. Many of these duties are often unseen, unknown, and unappreciated. Like many of the things in life that keep us free to pursue life, liberty and happiness, our military men and women are often overlooked and taken for granted. We just assume that our military will always be there, fighting our battles and keeping us from harm’s way, and we thank God they are. 

However, sadly our nation’s reality is that many of the hardest battles our veterans will face are after they return from their military theater. There are wounds that we do not see like PTSD, brain injuries, and fractured families. Our veterans have sacrificed so much for us, so we ask you to take a moment this Thanksgiving to tell a veteran, “We see you!”

We also ask that you say thank you to our veterans by making an end-of-the-year charitable contribution to Tee It Up for the Troops. Tee It Up for the Troops uses these funds to sustain our unique REUNION program, which reunites combat veterans for four days of golf, relaxation, and healing. In addition, Tee It Up for the Troops helps organize fundraising events around the country for veterans. We encourage you and your family to create a new Thanksgiving tradition by saying thank you to our Military heroes and giving back on Giving Tuesday.

You can donate immediately here: https://teeitupforthetroops.org/donate/

 

How the CARES Act Helps Charitable Giving

To promote and reward charitable giving and to help our country’s not-for-profit agencies, the United States Congress passed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act this year. The CARES Act has recognized the desires of individuals, foundations, and businesses to support not-for-profit organizations such as Tee It Up for the Troops. Incentive-based tax benefits can be gained if you make donations by the end of 2020. This is important because as of now, the United States Congress is not planning on continuing the CARES ACT into 2021.

The details of the CARES ACT can be found in an earlier article we posted.

We thank you for your support and contributions. When you give, you make a positive difference. It is as simple as that: giving helps.

We also take this moment to give a heartfelt thank you to all our military veterans, current service members, and their families. We acknowledge your service, commitment, and sacrifices.

We wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Celebrate Veterans Day and Month of the Military Family

While we celebrate Veterans Day and National Veterans and Military Families Month, we want to THANK our American veterans and their families for the tremendous sacrifices they have made. We recognize the blessings of freedom secured for us by your service, and we express our deep appreciation for you and your family!

Please stop and thank a veteran not only on Veterans Day but with every opportunity. We want all those who wear the uniform to know that we recognize and appreciate their strength and courage in fighting for our freedom, and we will keep fighting for our veterans and their families.

Our goals for Veterans Day are to bring awareness to the daily struggles our veterans and their families face. Your contributions and participation help to ease these burdens that so many of our veterans share.

Your charitable giving directly supports our programming at Tee It Up for the Troops and strengthens the pillars our organization is built upon:

 

 

Tee It Up for the Troops supports veterans year-round with golf events organized by communities around the country.

  • Our golf events are a great way to say THANK YOU to veterans by raising money for local and national veteran-focused charities.
  • Our golf events are a GREAT way for your business to become a partnering sponsor—or better yet, sponsor your own Tee It Up for the Troops golf event.
  • Our golf events create opportunities to meet our veterans and to hear their stories. These personal interactions change lives for the better.

We know firsthand how much a personal thank you to a veteran means. It means, “I see you. I recognize your sacrifice. Thank you.”

We also know firsthand that there is an incredible amount of work to do on behalf of our veterans—work that saves lives. During National Veterans and Military Families Month, we are asking you to help thank veterans through charitable giving and personal participation.

To get involved and help our veterans, work with Tee It for the Troops to volunteer at an event or even start your own event in your community. You can also donate directly to support our unique REUNION Program, which reunites combat veterans for four days of golf, healing, and relaxation with old comrades.

To all our military veterans and their families who sacrifice so much to keep our country safe and strong, THANK YOU!

Partner SPOTLIGHT: All Golf Services

All Golf Services (AGS) is a golf course marketing and promotions company that is a national sponsor/partner with Tee It Up for the Troops and has a strong passion for helping our service members, veterans and military families.

Just this month, AGS donated $48,210 raised during their 2019-20 golf season to Tee It Up for the Troops! Despite all the interruptions caused by the pandemic, AGS only just missed its highest annual total EVER and was still able to make this amazing donation. Thank you AGS for your unwavering support of our military veterans!

AGS’s management team has extensive golf operations, sales and marketing experience and a heart for America’s military. Jonathan Mostyn, co-founder of AGS, created the unique results-driven business model that drives the success behind AGS. Fellow co-founder Steve Phillips is a member of the Professional Golf Association and the all-things-golf expert for AGS. In addition to his extensive business experience in golf, Steve also serves as a commissioned officer in the US Navy Reserve. We at Tee it Up for the Troops thank him for his service and for AGS’s extremely generous support!

Tim Wegscheid, Tee It Up for the Troops President and Jonathan Mostyn, All Golf Services CEO

Since 2010, AGS has donated over $286,000 to non-profits that support veterans. Their contributions and commitment to Tee It Up for the Troops have helped us to accomplish great work, like reuniting combat veterans through our unique REUNION Program. The REUNION Program reunites old friends from the service for four days of golf and other activities at the Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Florida. The trip is almost entirely expense-free thanks to the support from our partners like AGS.

If your organization might be interested in partnering with Tee It Up for the Troops, get in touch! There are plenty of other ways to get involved, too, whether finding an event near you to join or starting one yourself.

Once again, THANK YOU to All Golf Services for their support of our troops, and we look forward to a successful year of golf in 2021!

A Smile Can Make All the Difference for America’s Veterans – Shop AmazonSmile for Tee It Up for the Troops

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, since 2009, Americans have increased their online spending by 100 billion dollars.

According to a 2018 NPR/Marist poll, 69% of Americans shopped online during the year, and 43% regularly shop online.

That is a lot of money spent on shopping, and with the advent of Covid-19, the percentage of people regularly shopping online has dramatically increased.

What does online shopping and AmazonSmile have to do with Tee It Up for The Troops?  Four words: Fast, Easy, Life-Changing Donations.

Shop AmazonSmile to Raise Money for Tee It Up for the Troops at No Cost to You!

Amazon through its AmazonSmile initiative is donating 0.5% of all eligible purchases to the charity of your choice when you shop. That means it’s possible to send real donations to Tee It Up for the Troops at absolutely NO cost to you—just shopping at smile.amazon.com does the trick!

Designate Tee It Up for the Troops as your charity, and Amazon will send donations to benefit the organization every time you shop—every little bit counts!

Giving to Tee It Up for the Troops has never been easier. Let’s get started!

There are a couple of different ways you can sign up for the AmazonSmile program.

Join AmazonSmile at smile.amazon.com. You can sign up to the AmazonSmile program at smile.amazon.com on your computer, tablet, or phone. There you’ll select the Get Started button and sign into your Amazon account. After you sign in, there will be a list of charities to choose from. Search for Tee It Up for the Troops in the search bar and select us! Once you’ve selected Tee It Up for the Troops, then you’re set up!

Here’s the all-important final step: make sure you shop at smile.amazon.com rather than plain amazon.com. Using the “smile.amazon.com” address will ensure that Amazon contributes part of the purchase price to Tee It Up for the Troops!

Get the app. Download or update to the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app on your phone. You can find the app in the App Store for your iPhone or Google Play for Android. Log in to your Amazon account on the app. Once you’re logged in, navigate to the Settings menu ( where you can also see buttons for Account and Your Orders). Below Settings, you’ll find an AmazonSmile button. Click the AmazonSmile button, and then proceed through the instructions provided, and you’ll be set!

You can begin to make a difference in our veterans’ lives with a smile and a click, here and now, today.

Please give to Tee It Up for the Troops through AmazonSmile. You can start today!

Tee It Up for the Troops Patriotic Opening Ceremony – Honoring America’s Veterans

The Opening Ceremony is a tradition at Tee It Up for the Troops events that pays tribute to American heroes who have, and continue to, put their lives at risk on the frontlines. This opening ceremony sets a patriotic tone to the day, honors our veterans and reminds everyone why they are a Tee It Up for the Troops event. It is an opportunity for sponsors, participants, and all in attendance to celebrate patriotic pride.

Our military is built on traditions, customs, and manners, and so too are our military charity events. It’s valuable for everyone to learn about these traditions and customs that have become part of Tee It Up for the Troops opening ceremonies. With the 530+ events that have been held in over 40 states, each Tee It Up for the Troops opening ceremony is uniquely planned by each local community planning committee. While no two opening ceremonies are ever the same, below are the elements and their meaning that you might find at a typical opening ceremony.

  • Bagpiper: Many of our ceremonies start with a bagpiper in a traditional Scottish kilt playing and walking up the first fairway toward the attendees. Bagpipes have become associated with U.S. military memorial services, retirements, or changes of command on account of their connection with Scottish martial history. As early as the 14th century, Scottish warriors used musical instruments—mostly horns—to intimidate their English adversaries.

  • Invocation by Military Chaplain: An invocation prayer or request for the spiritual presence and blessing of God in the event.
  • Soloists to sing National Anthem and God Bless America: We all know the great tale of our national anthem being written in the wake of battle with the British in 1814, but did you know God Bless America was written by a Russian immigrant serving in the US Army during the first world war? None other than Irving Berlin—one of the most successful and beloved American songwriters of the 20th century—penned this tune to celebrate the nation he loved dearly.
  • Presentation of Colors by Honor Guard / Color Guard. While we no longer carry colors into battle—during which they served a crucial communication function—the presentation of colors ceremony still plays an important role in keeping national and unit traditions alive.

  • Moment of Silence: The moment of silence is a time-honored tradition to create a space for reflection and respect—and there’s plenty of that to go around during a Tee It Up for the Troops opening ceremony honoring our nation’s heroes.

  • Rifle Volley: Typically done in three volleys by an odd number of members, rifle and other gun salutes are common across the world for honoring servicemembers, royalty, and foreign dignitaries.

  • Gold-Star Family Recognition: Gold Star Families are relatives of US military members who have died in battle. A wreath is laid at the ceremony and attending parents, spouses, children, or other family members can carry a rose to lay on the wreath.

  • Honoring Veterans in Attendance: All attending veterans are recognized and honored for their service during the ceremony.
  • Taps: Often played at military funerals and other events like wreath laying ceremonies, this bugle call (it’s not a song) has its origins in the Civil War.
  • Retire the Colors: Retiring the colors marks the end of the ceremony, during which the color guard retrieves the colors and removes them respectfully.

Some of our events have additional symbols and demonstrations of patriotism that pay tribute to American heroes who continue to put their lives at risk on the frontlines.  

  • Static Displays: military vehicles, fire engines with U.S. flags at the entrance or on a hole.
  • Helicopter or parachute landing to mark the start of the ceremony.
  • Video Link / Teleconference of deployed units.
  • Patriotic Motorcycle association riders: Some riders participate in the ceremony by holding US Flags around the staging area.
  • White Dove Release: White doves are a widely recognized symbol of peace and hope. A white dove release incorporates this powerful symbol into the ceremony honoring our veterans and what they’ve fought for.

  • Bald Eagle on display: The Bald Eagle became the national emblem of the United States of America in 1782. The fierce beauty and proud independence of this great bird aptly symbolize the strength and freedom of America, that same strength and freedom that is found in the United States Armed Forces.

  • Flyover: The first military flyover took place during the 1918 World Series. Today’s military flyovers serve to promote and honor our armed services. The missing man formation is an aerial “salute” performed during a flyover and is typically in memory of a fallen pilot, a well-known military service member, or veteran.  

At the 2020 Tee It Up for the Troops Rochester event in Minnesota, the opening ceremony began with two Navy SEALs parachuting onto the fairway at the Rochester Golf and Country Club. Holding the American flag between them, the two SEALs dropped from the sky and made this ceremony especially powerful for the crowd—and the local Gold Star mothers—present.

“It really defined what Tee It Up for the Troops is for,” says Mike Pruett, who helped to organize and record the Rochester event. “For our military, our fallen—respecting them, showing our respect and support for our troops.” Having two SEALs conclude the opening ceremony reinforced one of the core principles of Tee It Up for the Troops—that servicemembers can often be the best support for their comrades. No one knows better than a fellow soldier what it’s like to put your life on the line to serve your country.

Opening ceremonies at Tee It Up for the Troops events are one-of-a-kind experiences. Without pretension, with utmost respect and dignity, they’re a chance for your community to honor veterans in your own unique way. Communities across the United States have gathered to support our troops. Get together with your community today to start planning your own event!

Start an Event: We’ll help you set up your own community event to raise funds for our veterans.

Find an Event: Tee It Up for the Troops events happen in almost every state! Find one near you today and participate!

Donate: Donate to support our innovative REUNION program, which pays for combat veterans to reunite with their old comrades to help overcome the hidden wounds of war.