Although golf is a great recreation, we have all felt those momentary stresses caused by a ball we hit that fails to follow the flight plan, shall we say.
Well, here's a way to get your old golf balls flying right on target.
Send them to Iraq. Send them to my old friend, Army chaplain Capt. David Sifferd. You want to relieve stress? Here's your chance to do it for some people who really need it -- the servicemen and servicewomen fighting and supporting the war in Iraq.
This has nothing to do with how you feel about the war. It has everything to do with how you feel as a golfer. Sending used balls -- a dozen or hundreds of dozens or whatever you can spare -- can help worried, tired soldiers thousands of miles from home to work out some of the immense stress of combat.
The more balls, the more senders, the better. Once hit, safety makes retrieving the balls inadvisable. Fields may be mined, snipers may lurk.
Read the stories at the links below and you'll see how it all got started. When I asked Capt. Sifferd what he needed over there, I expected him to say socks, magazines and beef jerky. Instead, and completely in character for Dave, he thought of everyone other than himself. Send golf balls, he said, so my soldiers can relieve some of the anxiety of being far from home and in harm's way.
Since then, many, many individuals and companies in the United States, Canada and beyond have responded to the call, enabling Capt. Sifferd to set up a practice range at his post. The range gets a lot of use, and that helps Capt. Sifferd in his mission of safeguarding the spiritual and mental well-being of so many Americans who answered the call of duty without question or quaver.
And it's not too late. Below is a U.S. address to which balls, clubs, gloves, anything golf can be sent for transport to Iraq. At the post office, you will have to fill out a simple customs form, and of course pay the domestic postage. But that's all. And you'll be using golf to do a world of good halfway around the world.
If you know service personnel other than Capt. Sifferd who would like golf gear, by all means, send to them too. Every little bit helps.
Capt. Sifferd will complete his tour soon. So if you're sending packages after March 5, address them to his successor.
Chaplain (CPT) Tim Kersten
APO AE 09342-2061
Since I wrote the original stories, many people have asked me why I appealed to golfers to respond in this way. The answer is simple.
Because I knew they would. After all, they're golfers.
Thanks, and play well.
Email your thoughts to Adam Barr