The copy of Michael Bezenar’s DD214 military release form has seen better days.
The government-issued certificate that verifies Bezenar’s military service is ripped in numerous places and marred with fold marks, yet still tells a story.
It reveals that in January of 1967 the Windsor resident enlisted in the Air Force, and was released from active duty in January of 1971.
The piece of paper is also all the currency Bezenar needs to receive free golf from Windsor’s public golf course, Pelican Lakes Golf Resort.
For over 10 years, the 27-hole golf course located in the Water Valley community of Windsor, has offered active military service members and veterans a 30-day period to redeem two free rounds of golf on the 9-hole, par 34 Pelican Falls.
Martin Lind, the developer of the 2,000-lot Water Valley community where Pelican Lakes and Falls resides, brainstormed opportunities to show local military service members how much he honored their dedicated service to our country.
He decided to provide anyone who served in the military two free rounds from Oct. 12 to Nov. 10 at the 9-hole Pelican Falls Golf Course. Veterans simply show their DD214 release form when they check in for their tee time, and that’s it.
The service members also receive food specials in the public club’s restaurant and bar and free entry into the Veteran’s Day Tournament, held annually on Nov. 11.
“The servicemen and women have paid their dues to all Americans who walk and talk freely,” said Lind. “A small gesture of free golf pales in comparison to my family’s gratitude, and we are thrilled to get the opportunity to do it.”
To military veterans like Bezenar, the gesture has not gone unnoticed.
“It’s a really nice opportunity, “Bezenar recently said from the Pelican Lakes pro shop after checking in for his tee time. “I know other military people I’ve played with are so appreciative of the opportunity to play golf for free. It’s amazing to me that anyone would graciously present this offer.”
Stacy Kleve, the director of golf at Pelican Lakes, said the appreciation goes both ways.
“I echo Martin’s thoughts and am extremely appreciative and enjoy honoring any veteran’s military service,” said Kleve. “We feel this is the least we can do in honoring their service.”
Cold weather canceled last year’s event, but in 2013 Kleve said over 120 people played. Next week he expects just as many. One of those will be Bezenar.
“The next time I see Martin I’m going to thank him,” said Bezenar, who has taken advantage of the golf perk for the past four years. “It’s a wonderful gesture he’s presented to us.”
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