Dear Ms Gilliom:
Re: Adaptive Golf Carts at Military Installations
Thank you for accepting the onus of distributing the letters containing the reasons why mobility impaired golfers (I am one) should have access to adaptive golf carts at military bases. I am confident that the Department of Defense, through your insight, will reach the logical conclusion and react fully to the provisions of the Military Authorization Bill in the Secretary's response to the Congress.
In brief, I served as a fighter pilot in World War 11; joined the NJ Air National Guard while attending law school soon after my return; was recalled as a Fighter Squadron Commander for the Korean Crises in 1951; upon my return I decided not to return to my embryonic law career and assumed the position of ANG base commander at McGuire AFB in NJ. As I also supervised an Engineer Company I concluded that building a golf course at McGuire was feasible, excellent training and much needed. We progressed until 1 July 1964 when M/Gen George Dany assumed Command of the 21st Air Force, situated at McGuire, and he put in the additional resources necessary to complete a 9 hole course. It has since progressed to an 18 hole golf course well serving the Active, ANG and Reserve personnel in the area.
Several years ago my physical condition prevented my participation until I became aware of the unbelievable capabilities provided by the uniqueness of the adaptive golf cart. I offered to buy one and store it at McGuire's Falcon Creek Golf Course. The offer was rejected. I then bought my own Solorider Adaptive golf cart and base it at The Indian River Colony Club, Melbourne, FL The Board of Directors approved the use of that cart from the Tee through the Green. What a Godsend! When I can get to FL it is like living in a new world. There I can play to my hearts content. Oh only if I could play at McGuire? You know better than I do as to how many physically limited Veterans reside in this area. Why must we be further constrained?
Please convey my plea to the Honorable Michael L. Dominguez, Principal Deputy Secretary of Defense and Mr. Clarence A. Johnson. We do not need any more adverse publicity as to the care and concern for our valiant veterans injured while heroically defending and serving our Nation.
Francis R. Gerard
Maj/Gen USAF, (Ret)
Judith C. Gilliom
Disability Program Manager
Department of Defense
Room 5D641, The Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-4000