George W. Bush’s Warrior Open begins today

posted at 3:25 pm on October 10, 2011 by Tina Korbe

These days, former President George W. Bush pretty rigorously avoids the spotlight. As he recently told Good Morning America, “Listen, I loved being president, but there’s a time to get off the stage. I had eight years in the White House and I gave it my all — and I’m through.”

In other words, he doesn’t care to throw his weight around for political purposes. Instead, he spends his days doing something he very rarely did during his presidency — golfing. In eight years as president, Bush played just 24 rounds of golf. Now, he’s able to play about three rounds a week — and has a +7 handicap to prove it. Not bad.

But, today, golf isn’t just a hobby for the former president: It’s also a way to thank the men and women he sent to war. For months, G.W. has been in the process of planning the Warrior Open, a two-day golf tournament for U.S. service members who were severely wounded in the global war on terror. The 36-hole competition at Las Colinas Country Club near Dallas, Tex., opened today — and, to judge by the pictures from the practice round, the wounded warriors are ready for Round One.

Competition is stiff: To qualify, veterans had to have at least a +20 handicap.

“I’ve never really been to an Open before; I do a lot of scrambles,” Sergeant Brian Saaristo said in a video. “I hope my skill level is up to this, but I wanted to see where my elevation of the golf game had gone and being at a tournament like this is going to see if I have the ‘get up and go’ to do it.”

But no matter where each of the 20 veterans in the tournament falls on the leaderboard, they’ll reap benefits to participating. As Bush explains in his welcome letter to the competition, “Golf is an important part of the rehabilitation process for many of those seriously injured on the front lines. The sport provides an opportunity to leave the hospital environment and get some fresh air. It requires focus and concentration, which can help take the mind off the recovery process and the pain. It provides a way to hone movement and motor skills.”

Saaristo said he’s also looking forward to the chance to reconnect with old friends.

Then, too, the tournament represents a chance to earn a quick compliment from a former president. During the practice round, Bush sized up a drive with a brief, “You crushed that thing” before clapping one of the warriors on the back. It’s the kind of personal, humble attention Bush seems particularly effective at paying people.

“I love these guys,” Bush told GMA. “To the extent that I can help them, I will. To the extent that I can herald their courage, I will.”

The veterans seem equally appreciative of Bush. In the GMA interview, Bob Woodruff tried to deflect the former president’s attention from the veterans themselves, reminding the president that many of those who have served in the war aren’t sure it was a war worth fighting. But Bush responded simply, with an answer born of his experience interacting one-on-one with the Warrior Open golfers and others.

“I haven’t one veteran tell me that,” he said. “They tell me they were proud to serve.”

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He is a good man.

Even though, some would say differently.

upinak on October 10, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Miss you, sir!

RedNewEnglander on October 10, 2011 at 3:30 PM

God bless you GDub…. You did what you could, when you held the office, and you continue to do the same out of office.

Patriot.

ted c on October 10, 2011 at 3:31 PM

God bless GW. His social policies drove me nuts sometimes, but his respect for those who serve has never been in doubt, and I am forever grateful.

I also appreciate what a narcissistic media whore he isn’t.

CantCureStupid on October 10, 2011 at 3:31 PM

An unbelievable contrast to what is in the White House now…

right2bright on October 10, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Compare these Presidents

Carter – building homes for the needy

Clinton – global initiative

Bush – helping wounded warriors

Obama – organizing iStink hippies to protest capitalism

faraway on October 10, 2011 at 3:32 PM

He is a good man.

Even though, some would say differently.

upinak on October 10, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Yes, he is. He made some major errors as president, but, that doesn’t mean he is a bad guy. He loves the military and his country.

a capella on October 10, 2011 at 3:34 PM

faraway on October 10, 2011 at 3:32 PM

“iStink Hippies”…..LOL…..you owe me a new screen :)

tencole on October 10, 2011 at 3:35 PM

I love this man. He is a good soul.

Here is another contest you all can play!

http://themorningspew.com/2011/10/10/the-morning-spews-first-contest-help-ben-jerry-name-a-new-occupy-wall-street-ice-cream-flavor/

bloggless on October 10, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Looks like it’s time to bring this out….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOC_JjNFkVw

tencole on October 10, 2011 at 3:36 PM

His heart was always in the right place.

Good man.

portlandon on October 10, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Dubya loves his country and stads with our Best and Brightest.

Obama thinks we’re Bitter Clingers and uses our Best and Birghtest for Lab Rats in a Social Experiment.

kingsjester on October 10, 2011 at 3:37 PM

http://themorningspew.com/2011/10/10/the-morning-spews-first-contest-help-ben-jerry-name-a-new-occupy-wall-street-ice-cream-flavor/

bloggless on October 10, 2011 at 3:35 PM

I think faraway would win it with “iStink”

Brat on October 10, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Hey Obama, when your out of office in 2013, just keep this man in mind. This is the way to be a classy ex-president.

Why do I have a feeling we’re gonna get Obama making noise for decades to come, a la Jimmy Carter. Obama is too much of a narcissist to slip quietly into retirement.

Meric1837 on October 10, 2011 at 3:38 PM

PBHO will plan a similar event, though instead of wounded vets the players will consist of “Occupation!” people who have creatively defecated on NYC police cars.

The Cleveland Steamer Invitational.

Bishop on October 10, 2011 at 3:43 PM

In the GMA interview, Bob Woodruff tried to deflect the former president’s attention from the veterans themselves…

Hey Bob…

… Ever hear of ‘Fast and Furious’?

Seven Percent Solution on October 10, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Obama – organizing iStink hippies to protest capitalism

faraway on October 10, 2011 at 3:32 PM

LMAO!

iHope that catches on.

pain train on October 10, 2011 at 3:46 PM

A perfectly decent man.

SouthernGent on October 10, 2011 at 3:49 PM

George W. Bush is an honorable man and a President America can be proud of….

I know we dont agree with everything GWB did, but he was a true leader and a President that tried to do what he thought was best for America and its citizens.

If Obama has done anything, its make me appreciate George W. Bush. On his worst day, Bush is 1000 times the man Obama is on his best day.

alecj on October 10, 2011 at 3:49 PM

ATTAAAAACK WAAAAAAATCH!!!1!

Knott Buyinit on October 10, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Looks like it’s time to bring this out….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOC_JjNFkVw

tencole on October 10, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Darn dust in this key board…!

… I really miss going to sleep at night knowing that George W. Bush was on the job.

Seven Percent Solution on October 10, 2011 at 3:51 PM

What I always liked about Bush was the fact that he did not seem to think it was all about him.

Terrye on October 10, 2011 at 4:01 PM

I respect and miss George W Bush, who is an honorable and classy man. Obama is neither. While I wasn’t always happy with Bush as president, I never once doubted he was doing his best and he loved our country. Once again, Obama does neither.

katieanne on October 10, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Brat on October 10, 2011 at 3:38 PM

I believe it is entirely possible. Best to submit it.

http://themorningspew.com/2011/10/10/the-morning-spews-first-contest-help-ben-jerry-name-a-new-occupy-wall-street-ice-cream-flavor/

bloggless on October 10, 2011 at 4:05 PM

IMO, a good and decent man.

I love near the end of the clip, where he reflects on being “blessed” as the only former president with both parents still living.

Gratitude and humility are very attractive traits…

cs89 on October 10, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Bill Clinton is still on the stage.

Schadenfreude on October 10, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Perry would do the same I think.

Bullhead on October 10, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Politico had a story about this tournament this morning. Lotsa Bush Love in the comments there as well!

History shall at least prove that IRAQ was entered using “Lies Bush Fostered via Cheney”

George Bush will never live down what he did.

If you supported the Iraq war and a loved one died in that war, how do you sleep at night? Do you laugh when you see video Bush had recorded of himself comically looking for WMD’s under his desk and behind pictures in the Oval Office? Does your nightmare ever end?

Bush and his neo-con (or just con) cronies killed, maimed and imprisoned more people than the dictator who preceded them ever thought of doing.

“I love these guys, love the women in service,” Bush said. “And to the extent that I can help them, I will.”

As long as it requires nothing more than prayer…

Imbeciles seem to tend to lack a conscience and any capacity for embarrassment.

What an idiot. Didn’t get the point, did he ?

The wealth made during the Iraq war will fund the Cheney family for untold generations.

Sorry, W, but “history” can’t change the fact that you & Cheney unnecessarily & foolishly put U.S. troops in the wrong place at the wrong time. That history has already been written.

For some reason, Politico would only let me read the first 20 comments. I can just imaging what the rest of them say.

Angry little tykes, aren’t they?

Del Dolemonte on October 10, 2011 at 4:31 PM

C-BS “News” also did a story about this tournament this morning. The comments there show a lot of respect for Bush as well.

So Bush says he misses the troops. Well he didn’t seem to miss them too much in the early 70′s when he was supposed to be serving with them.

I am using mountain biking and golf to stay connected with the military. (Hey, you guys know where I can score some coke? I can get you a sweet deal on an AWOL!)

Del Dolemonte on October 10, 2011 at 4:37 PM

BTW, I also dove into the WaPo Cesspool, but their story on this had only 7 comments, and the “top comment” had been removed by the Moderator.

But the Fox News story has plenty of hate comments.

Del Dolemonte on October 10, 2011 at 4:44 PM

But but I heard on the news today that The Won was going to Walter Reed to visit the wounded soldiers. You know if W playing gold with the warriors wasn’t a fundraiser, it would have never made the news.

Cindy Munford on October 10, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Del Dolemonte on October 10, 2011 at 4:44 PM

I hope you are current on all you inoculations, I worry about where you travel.

Cindy Munford on October 10, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Miss you “W”.

dragondrop on October 10, 2011 at 5:00 PM

What a doll, him and that lovely wife of his.

tree hugging sister on October 10, 2011 at 5:00 PM

The man has always been sincere. He was never in it for personal gain and always put the troops and country first. What a contrast to the current administration.

DAT60A3 on October 10, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Yes, sir we do miss you! For eight years, I never worried about our POTUS loving his country.

d1carter on October 10, 2011 at 5:17 PM

I worry about where you travel.

Cindy Munford on October 10, 2011 at 4:55 PM

More than a few of those Caring Leftist Tykes posting at those stories are worried about where Bush travels. They’re warning him that if he travels up to Canada or other foreign lands, they will try to have him arrested for “War Crimes”.

Del Dolemonte on October 10, 2011 at 5:30 PM

He is a good man.
Even though, some would say differently.
upinak on October 10, 2011 at 3:27 PM

not me

he had the spine and was moral

it was our POS rep congress that let him down, not that he’d say that

his attempt was to break the status quo in the middle east that naysayers said couldn’t be done

as it turned out it very well could be done but the communist party of our country, having more in common with thugs there, did everything to keep just that from happening knowing it would be a blow against totalitarianism which is their mantra

they have done their best to tarnish George

and done their best to varnish obama

Funny isn’t it?

Sonosam on October 10, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Del Dolemonte on October 10, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Some folks have too much time on their hands. Luckily we know they are full of it, even if they don’t want to admit it.

Cindy Munford on October 10, 2011 at 6:10 PM

The thing that comes across to me in this is that even though W was President and CinC for eight years, he’s like you and I would be around those warriors in a fun venue, just in awe of their sacrifice and so happy to bring them some smiles.

One ex-president helps build houses for the needy, a noble and good thing, as he portrays America as evil throughout the world. Other ex-presidents help raise money for global disasters and such. W, and because of this I will forgive him all his mistakes, spends his time helping rebuild the lives and raise the spirits of our injured heroes. Character. Loyalty. Class. A good man, that one.

TXUS on October 10, 2011 at 8:28 PM

I miss this man so…his lovely, classy wife, too…

StarLady on October 10, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Let me get this straight… wounded vets have to have a +20 handicap to play?? What a horrible irony! What the hell is a +20 handicap?? Missing a limb? Punctured spleen?? Gah!

jcmorris on October 11, 2011 at 1:40 AM