Tags: Money | Veterans | Veterans | Golf Course | Retirement Home | Defense Dept. | Budget

Defense Dept. Might Stop Funding Armed Forces' Retirement Golf Course

Image: Defense Dept. Might Stop Funding Armed Forces' Retirement Golf Course

 YouCaring.com

By    |   Monday, 12 Sep 2016 10:35 AM

A nine-hole golf course on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home may become a victim of budget cuts, The Washington Post reported.

Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told The Post that senior Defense Department officials are debating whether to stop funding the 128-acre course.

In a statement, Pahon said the course loses money and cannot continue to take funds from the Defense Department. He said the military is looking into whether the course can make a profit or have a zero loss.

"Providing the best services and care to our service members and, in this case, our veterans, is of utmost importance to the Defense Department. That's why we are taking a proactive approach toward examining these issues surrounding the golf course and hoping to develop a viable, sustainable business model for the future," Pahon wrote.

The course has more than 200 members, including city residents and military veterans who live in the retirement community.

The golf course committee's volunteer chairman, retired master chief engineman Ken Faller, said that in August, a retirement home official told the members they need to raise $250,000 in donations by Dec. 15 to keep the course running in the 2017 season. The monies would secure a contract with groundskeepers.

The course's supporters have named themselves the Golf Course Guardians, and have launched a site to bring in sponsors and benefactors. The YouCaring site had raised more than $500 as of Sept. 12.

Supporters of the site praise its atmosphere and membership.

"It's not a snooty facility," psychologist Ed Galiber told the Post. "I'm African-American, and it's extremely diverse, a place where you can forget about color. It's a speak-easy for regular people to play golf."

Members of the military pay $700 annually to play the course. The Post reported that the low cost may be contributing to the course's downfall—it includes no amenities that other courses routinely offer such as a restaurant, showers, or a pro shop.

Roy Wheeler, 81, is upset with the condition of the course.

"When I came here 12 years ago, it was the most beautiful course in the city. They've just trashed it," Wheeler said.

Faller wonders why the Defense Department said they could not pay for the course. Faller said he suspects the Pentagon wants to turn the retirement home, nicknamed the Old Soldier's Home, into a private retirement community.

"Then they can bring in anyone to live here, not just veterans," Faller said.

Dominique Manchak, a second-year member, said she is frustrated that the Defense Department is considering closing the course.

"But I understand the optics that operating a golf course doesn't look good to them when they're trying to fight wars and protect our country," Manchak said.

An op-ed piece on the Professional Golfers' Association website in 2012 praised the value of a golf course for veterans, regardless of its cost.

"The amount of money saved from dumping all these courses would amount to no more than a rounding error in the military budget—much less the overall federal budget—and the benefit they provide our servicemen and women is worth an awful lot," the op-ed piece said.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
A nine-hole golf course on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home may become a victim of budget cuts, The Washington Post reported. Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told The Post that senior Defense Department officials are debating whether to stop funding the 128-acre...
Veterans, Golf Course, Retirement Home, Defense Dept., Budget
521
2016-35-12
Monday, 12 Sep 2016 10:35 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved