PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tuesday was Military Appreciation Day at The Players Championship.
The Players hosted service members and veterans, and there was a special ceremony on the Island Green 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass -- complete with a flyover from the 125th Fighter Wing and a concert from country singer Kelsea Ballerini.
The ceremony began at 4:30 p.m., and the concert started at 5 p.m.
A big focus was on women veterans.
The featured nonprofit for this year’s Military Appreciation Day at The Players was Northeast Florida Women Veterans. The group was honored as the golf tournament saluted the military and supporting agencies and received a 50,000 surprise donation from The Players.
“I am very surprised and grateful. We can put that to use because we depleted our supportive services funds, which are paying bills for our veterans,” said Dee Quaranta, founder of Northeast Florida Women Veterans. “Now we have funds to help our women who need help financially.”
The featured guest at this year’s military appreciation ceremony was 100-year-old Jacksonville resident Anita Morris, who is a World War II veteran.
Hundreds of veterans and active duty service members were honored at the event. David Grayson served 22 years in the U.S. Navy.
“I fixed airplanes that looked for submarines, rescued people,” Grayson said.
Grayson’s wife, Deanne, served 10 years in the U.S. Army under military intelligence. She was also a psychiatrist.
Grayson retired in 2003, and his wife — more recently, in 2019. Both say they’re honored to have served their country.
We asked Deanne Grayson what sticks out to her during her years of service.
“Day to day, seeing all the PTSD, depression, anxiety, everything that torments all the people in the military,” she said.
She still helps active duty members and veterans improve their mental health.