Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, commander, Navy Region Southeast, spoke to golf fans and service members during the kickoff of the Professional Golfer’s Association of America’s (PGA) THE PLAYERS Championship (TPC) Sawgrass tournament week at Ponte Vedra Beach, May 8.

The event, centered at the course’s famed 17th hole, highlighted service members with a special Military Appreciation Day.

“Today is a great opportunity to honor the contributions and sacrifices of our military men and women, especially our wounded warriors and Gold Star families,” Bolivar said.

The TPC Sawgrass Military Appreciation Day allowed for several amenities honoring the military, including a free hospitality tent.

The PGA not only provided free admission for Tuesday’s event, but also allowed for complimentary weeklong admission to the tournament for all career military (active duty, reserve, military retirees and dependents).

“Thank you for everything you do to support our military and families on the First Coast,” Bolivar said.

“From the free admission, to the free hospitality tent, to the military job fair, to this absolutely wonderful event today, combined with all that you do to support the military and the families throughout the year. We can’t thank

you enough!”

The course also welcomed military spouses to the seventh-annual Military Job Fair, in partnership with the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition and sponsored by United Rentals. The job fair was free and open to military spouses and veterans seeking employment.

“To all the wives, husbands, kids and parents out there, thank you so much for your unmatched support and for your sacrifices on behalf of your service member,” Bolivar said.

“The strength, spirit and courage that our military families display every day never ceases to amaze me. We could not do our jobs without you.”

Fans also packed the 17th hole to enjoy a free concert by country music artist Luke Combs at the conclusion of the ceremony.

“I think it’s awesome that I get to be here for Military Appreciation Day,” Combs said during the concert.

“I know that this is such a military town. Both of my grandfathers were in the service, so it’s something very dear to my heart.”

TPC Sawgrass is one of the most anticipated PGA tournaments of the year. The tournament has been held at Ponte Vedra Beach since 1977.

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