Service members around the country are teeing off for the 2019 Military Long Drive—and learning about the services the Exchange provides—at a series of events presented by the Exchange, Army Installation Command (IMCOM) and the World Long Drive Association this spring.
Qualifying events at 12 Army installations from March 30 to April 27 will set the field for the May 5 -7 Military Long Drive championship event. Exchange associates at Forts Jackson, Benning, Bliss, Hood, Belvoir, Lee, Sill, Carson, Campbell and Bragg, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Aberdeen Proving Ground will be on-hand to assist with the events.
Winners of each local competition will earn an all-expenses-paid trip to the Military Long Drive Competition championship at Fort Jackson, S.C., May 5-7 to compete for a chance to win $10,000 and an automatic entry into the Volvik World Long Drive in Thackerville, Okla., Sept. 3-4.
“Being a part of the Military Long Drive is an honor for the Exchange,” said Jose Hernandez,
Exchange Veterans Service Organization & Military Service Organization outreach manager and retired Army Lt. Col. “We’re bringing service members together to engage in healthy competition and learn about the ways the Exchange supports military communities around the world.”
Jake Taylor, who served in the United States Marine Corps for fifteen years, won the first event at Fort Jackson. Taylor drove almost three hours from Winston-Salem, N.C., with his girlfriend Amber and his Freedom Service Dog Tobin to compete—and to connect with fellow service members.
“I come out here and completely understand what these [service members] go through day in and day out,” Taylor said. “To me, that’s more important than any sport.”
Commitment to readiness and resiliency
Military Long Drive events highlight the Exchange’s commitment to promoting military readiness and resiliency through BE FIT (Find out more at the BE FIT Community Hub page).
Retired Marine Corps Sgt. Jay Milinichik of Tulsa, Okla. won the qualifying event at Fort Hood on April 8. The aspiring World Long Drive competitor was thankful for the opportunity to participate in the competition.
“I think it’s a great thing,” Milinichik said. “[The event] really celebrates the service and what we’ve done and the Veterans of this country.”
How to sign up
Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard active-duty, Reserve and retired service members can enter to compete at one of the upcoming 2019 Military Long Drive qualifying events by visiting the World Long Drive Community Hub page or www.armymwr.com/MLD.
The Exchange—along with Ashley Furniture Industries, RSR Group, Inc., CamelBak, Brown-Forman, E. & J. Gallo Winery and Sony—is sponsoring the Celebrating Service: Fort Jackson championship event, which will air live on the Golf Channel May 7. IMCOM will support in staging the event.
See more of the 2019 Military Long Drives