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The Loop

Growing the game in Iraq and Afghanistan

September 16, 2009

The most satisfying letters we get are from readers who like something we've done. When those customers are members of the armed services, grateful for a copy of Golf Digest or Golf World, or a piece of golf equipment we're pleased to comply.

Ed Cribari, a Naval Vietnam veteran who handles 30 charity event requests a month as part of his event-coordinator duties at Rally for the Cure. About five of those each month come from servicemen and women, and he has developed a relationship with a number of them in Iraq and Afghanistan. A couple of recent examples follow.

From Afghanistan:

__Dear Editor,>

Aloha. My name is Gunnery Sergeant Terry Bollman. I am a US Marine currently on my third tour to Afghanistan. This has to be the worst tou yet because we are standing up a new base in the southern part of the country. There is absolutely > nothing here. My unit is out of Hawaii, so there are lots of golfers. I was wondering if you had past issues that you could send our way. We have a handful of range balls and an old pitching wedge, so many are learning to pick up the game. I thought if you had some old issues, it might give them pointers and you might get some new subscribers. Anything you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Semper Fidelis. __

> --Terry Bollman, USMC


And Iraq:

__Dear Editor,>

My name is SSgt Prasad and I am currently deployed to Baghdad, Iraq. I was given the task to manage the one and only golf course in Iraq. As you can see by the pics, the course is in terrible need of some uplifting. I was hoping that you could donate some items that might assist me in my efforts. __

-- > Doreen R. Prasad, SSgt, USAF

Staff Sergeant Prasad attaches a "Memorandum for Donators" that describes the Cross Swords Golf Course and notes that soldiers pay $1 a round to play there.

>"The course is located in the International Zone of Baghdad. It was the personal project of a fellow soldier approximately two years ago. Since then the responsibility of up keeping the course has been handed over to a new soldier every rotation. The course is utilized by many civilian agencies and soldiers throughout the International Zone. All earning generated from the course fee go toward the Fallen Soldiers Foundatio__n."__>


Ed sent magazines, clubs and balls. And we send our hopes prayers that all of our war-zone readers will stay safe and be home soon.

--Bob Carney

Top photo: from left, GySgt Terry Bollman, 1stLt Tyson Rae, MSgt Danny Furr

Bottom photo: SSgt Doreen Prasad