MI captain raises awareness for Children’s Miracle Network Classic, wounded warriors

| December 16, 2010 | 2 Comments

2nd Lt. Cassandra Spencer
500th Military Intelligence Brigade

Capt. Patrick Hawthorne, 500th MI Bde., represents the Army at the Children’s Miracle Network in Florida, in November. (Tim Hipps | Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command)

FORT SHAFTER — A Soldier assigned to the 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade, played golf at Walt Disney World, Fla., Nov. 11-14, to raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network.

The CMN is an international nonprofit organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals and medical research, along with raising community awareness of topics relating to these issues.

Capt. Patrick Hawthorne had finished first in the All-Army Golf Trials in both 2009 and 2010, with an 8-shot and a 13-shot lead, respectively. Following both victories, the Pro Golf Association invited him to play in the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.

For Hawthorne, who has been playing golf for 22 years, the experience was exhilarating. During the tournament, he had anywhere from 1,000-3,000 people trailing him.

“When they introduced me, and said I was representing the Army, there was one woman who, I remember, started cheering,” Hawthorne described. “The experience gave me chills.

“My hands were shaking so much I couldn’t get my putter flat on the green,” he said.

Among supporters was Hawthorne’s wife, Cari, a law student at University of Hawaii.

“I’m really proud of him,” she said. “It’s neat that the Army has an opportunity for athlete Soldiers to use whatever gift they have, not only to promote the Army, but to promote sportsmanship.”

Hawthorne held his own at the tournament, scoring a 72 on the Palm course and 73 on the Magnolia course.

He also participated in a golf clinic sponsored by the Wounded Warriors Project that used golf as therapy for wounded warriors. The clinic helped teach skills like adapting to new physical challenges, and concentration and focus — essential elements of golf.

Hawthorne found working with the Wounded Warrior Project extremely rewarding and expressed a desire to see the program expanded.

Each of the aspiring golfers Hawthorne worked with presented unique challenges, including one service member who had both his shoulders injured in combat but improved his swing from 40 to 100 yards.

Hawthorne could see each service member’s eyes light up at his or her progress.

“That took my breath away,” Cari said. “To see guys who have been put in the most difficult positions of their whole lives … (and) seeing that they could really play golf with smiles on their faces was amazing.”

 

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Comments (2)

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  1. TheDude says:

    What a fantastic story. Obviously the writer is a very talented journalist. One of the most well written articles I've read in the Hawaii Army Weekly.

  2. Hawaii Army Weekly says:

    Thanks for the comment–I'll make sure 2nd Lt. Spencer sees it!

    –Stephanie Rush
    Web Editor

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