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Free Golf for Vets

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28)- Cedar Rapids city leaders announced the first ever Patriot Week Golf Event to honor veterans in Linn County.

Organizers want to give back to those who serve our country and also helped during the 2008 flood.

"Many veterans love to golf so I think this is the perfect venue for this," Lt. General Ron Dardis said.

Dardis remembers carrying patients outside the back door of Mercy hospital as water flowed in through the front door during the 2008 flood.

"That's the uniqueness of the Guard," he said. "That gave us an opportunity to help Iowans in a time of need."

Six years later, he is here to tour downtown Cedar Rapids and also play a little golf.

"I love golf. It's a way to relax and be with friends. When the city makes something this affordable for veterans, it just makes it just special," Dardis said.

City leaders have been anticipating the chance to thank those who serve close to home and far away.

"We just don't say it enough and this was an opportunity for us as a city to come forward and say thank you," Cedar Rapids Councilmember Ann Poe said.

The city, along with 12 sponsors, are offering 675 veterans a free round of golf during Patriot Week that'll tee off August 25th to September 1st.

All week long, veterans can reserve tee times to play with other veterans, families or friends.

Golfers will get a cart and can receive a special rate to play with loved ones.

"I think it's really special that the city could do something like this to recognize our veterans," Dardis said.

City leaders hope that more donations will come in so they can reach more people.

"Hopefully it grows over the years so we can offer more and more rounds of golf," Poe added.

The city hopes this event will bring out the crowds and provide a break for our service men and women.

"Many veterans who will be here to play golf in August, were here in 2008," Dardis said.

Veterans can pick up their free ticket at the Linn County Veterans Administration office at 1240 26th Ave Ct SW.

After obtaining the certificate, veterans can then reserve a tee time at Ellis, Gardner or Twin Pines Golf Courses.

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