Making its much-anticipated return to the Washington, D.C., area this summer, June 26 - July 1, the AT&T National will pay tribute to the brave men and women serving in the United States military. As a show of support to our active military members and their families, the AT&T National -- of which TWF is the host organization and beneficiary -- will again be offering great amenities and special recognition to honor the sacrifices made by our military family.
The tournament distributed 30,000 complimentary tickets to local U.S. military members who are active, reserved or retired to enjoy a day at the tournament. Once they arrive, they will be treated to a special climate-controlled tent at the 17th hole, where they can watch all the action and relax. This tent wouldn't be possible without the help of our great military partner, Lockheed Martin, which is also a proud supporter of our armed forces.
In 2011, we created a special tribute to our service men and women: the We Salute Our Heroes tribute wall. Decorated with flags and seals from each branch of the military, this is where fans, caddies, volunteers and players alike can write personal messages of thanks and appreciation to those who fearlessly serve our country. Last year's overwhelming response led to filling not one, but four large canvases with personal messages from fans and players, including Tiger Woods, K.J. Choi, Rickie Fowler and 2011 champion Nick Watney.
Our troops overseas haven't been forgotten either. Tournament attendees are encouraged to stop by the Military Care Package Tent, where they can assemble care packages that will be sent to our military personnel deployed overseas. The AT&T National has sent more than 25,000 care packages since 2009 and will send thousands more again this year.
Select military officials will have the unique opportunity to serve as caddies for the PGA TOUR pros on the 17th hole while wearing special camouflage caddie bibs during Wednesday's pro-am. Sixteen members of the military will be part of the fun, too, as starters on the first and 10th tees, announcing players and distributing military coins to each player and his caddie. Created by the tournament each year, this decorative, one-of-a-kind coin recognizes all five branches of the military and showcases the U.S. Capitol, the Washington Monument and the U.S. flag.
At the AT&T National, we are proud to continue the tradition of honoring the military, and we are grateful to the fans, sponsors, players and volunteers for their efforts to support the U.S. military in 2012.