CROMWELL, Conn. (WTNH) – Golf fans all have their own favorite stories about heroics on the course at the Travelers Championship, but the real heroes are the people who served in the military or who are currently serving.
Those veterans and active service members have their own place to hang out during the long-awaited tournament weekend.
It’s called the Patriots’ Outpost, and it is one of the most exclusive venues at the Travelers. Only those who served get served.
“For our active, our retired, our reservists and our guardsmen and women to come and relax, have some respite, some complimentary refreshments,” said Thomas Burke, the President of St. Francis Hospital.
The Outpost is sponsored by Trinity Health New England and St. Francis Hospital, and organizers say that all types of veterans stop by.
“There is literally someone who served in Korea talking to someone who served in Vietnam, talking to somebody who served in the Gulf and they’re all sharing stories having [a] conversation,” said tournament director Nathan Grube.
One attendee, George Gonzalez, had served in both Vietnam and the Gulf. He started coming to the tournament seven years ago, and he has been enjoying free water in the tent.
“I’ve always enjoyed it,” Gonzalez said. “I usually come around this time, stop in and have a drink on occasion, you know, stop in for lunch and everybody’s just very pleasant.”
He also gets his tickets for free through a program that lets veterans reserve complimentary passes online.
“It warms my heart when I see veterans enjoying the facility,” Burke said. “Again, it’s a simple way to say thank you.”
Gonzalez assured News 8 that, between the free tickets and the hospitality, he certainly feels appreciated.