Jon Pardi takes the stage at TPC Military Appreciation Day concert

Hundreds show up at TPC Sawgrass for ceremony, concert to honor service members

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Country music artist Jon Pardi performed Tuesday night at The Players Championship Military Appreciation Day concert to honor veterans and those serving in the military.

Military Appreciation Day is a chance for military families to get out and enjoy some quality time together. Hundreds of people showed up to honor the men and women who serve the county at a ceremony on the Island Green 17th hole at The Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. 

The ceremony included a flyover by the 125th Fighter Wing of the Florida Air National Guard, a national anthem performance by the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus and the concert.

"It just gives you goosebumps -- the flyover, the flag, all of it. Just the concert is a little extra special there at the end, but the ceremony itself is what means the most patriotism that you see because you don’t see that in all sports and I just think it’s really cool that the golf community is doing that for the military," said Traci Kumm, retired who is retired from the U.S.  Navy. "It’s just a really nice gesture that they do. For the military to show their appreciation for us, it means a lot."

The Palisoc men, a Navy father and son, enjoyed their day with their family.

"I enjoy seeing a lot of the veterans," said Al Palisoc, who is retired from the Navy. "Knowing that a majority of the people here today have served in the armed forces, yes, it’s like your family is here right." 

Al’s son, Jed Palisoc, followed in his father’s footsteps 19 years ago.

"He was an inspiration, definitely. I would say that he helped guide me through my first two years in the service. Anytime I needed help, he was always the man to go to for answers," said Jed Palisoc, who's in the Navy. "He made me become the man I am today."

The Blanche family, another Navy family, came out to enjoy Military Appreciation Day.

"It’s awesome to have that support, everyone out here," said Justine Blanche, who serves at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. "They, I think, enjoy seeing us out here and representing armed forces."

Blanche said she doesn’t come for the concert, but just the quality time with her family.

"It's great when we have this opportunity. We push out a lot in our commands to take our families out and spend time with them," Blanche said.

One great military perk at The Players is the Birdies for the Brave Patriots' Outpost located at the 16th tee. The outpost has food, drink and shade. Many said it's a great opportunity to connect with other service members.

 "Military day, it just takes you back to some of the things that you used to do how involved you were in the military and the places you went to talk to the other people here that were stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, San Francisco or stationed in Camp Lejeune," said Terry McCoy, who is retired from the U.S. Marine Corps. "It's just a lot of camaraderie."

Military members said they are grateful for Tuesday's appreciation, but can't help but think of those who could not be there. 

"(I) wish (those overseas) all the best and make it home because their family needs them," said Ellora Felder, who is retired from the Navy.

The Players provides all career military -- active duty, reserve, military retirees and dependents -- with complimentary admission to the tournament all week. All military can go online, print a voucher and bring photo IDs to the Military Tickets trailers located at any of the tournament gates. Click here to print a voucher and find more information.

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Lifetime Floridian anchors weekends and reports weekdays on issues in Nassau and Baker counties and beyond.