Many young women and men have sacrificed their lives or their lives have changed forever, in service to our country. There are many ways we can express our gratitude to them, and their families.
The America’s Fund is an organization that was created to provide family support grants to injured heroes from all branches of service. Grants enable families to be by the side if their loved ones as they go through treatment, without financial pressures of travel, lodging and lost wages.
America’s Fund helps veterans and their families with much needed medical treatments, adaptive housing, education and career transition, rehabilitation programs and canine companions to name a few.
This non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization is the beneficiary of several types of fundraisers throughout the year, one of which is the Interservice Military Polo Tournament in Poway, California. This tournament brings together the historical aspect of cavalry and polo and puts it in touch with the modern need for charitable support for our troops in need.
A fundraising event was held this past spring at Celebrity Ranch in Hemet. Military players came from San Diego, Orange County and Texas to compete in the Camp Pendleton Cup. The military team was represented by individuals who served in the Army, Marines and Navy. Major General Ronald Baily was the distinguished guest.
Other guests included veterans who recently returned from Afghanistan. Many had no previous experience around horses, and those I spoke with said they enjoyed watching the match. Others gathered around some of the horses to learn more about them, and share stories of their time in the service. One young man from Wisconsin said, “My dream is to learn all about horses and work on a ranch”.
The Second Annual Interservice Military Polo Tournament in Poway began with its inaugural polo match last year, where the Air Force team won over the Army team. The true winners were the Semper Fi Fund and our injured Marines, who benefitted from the approximately $15,000 the tournament raised. Teams are made up of active, and retired veterans of each branch of the military.
There is nothing more exciting than watching the horses fly down the arena, and hearing the thunder of their hooves as they give chase to the make goal. The next exciting Interservice Military Polo Tournament, which is open and free to the public, will be held on October 7, 2012. Teams play on the polo field of the Poway Polo Club at the Poway Rodeo grounds located at 14336 Tierra Bonita Road, Poway, Calif.
Opening ceremonies begin in the morning at 10:30. Admission is free. Come out and show support for your military heroes as Air Force, Army, Marine and Navy teams compete.
Another way to support your military heroes is to become a tournament sponsor with your tax deductible donations. For more information about this program contact USMC (ret) Lt. Col Dean Daggett.