Approximately 50 active US Service members from Fleet Week were bused in from New York for Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club’s 9th Annual Honor Day. The event, held in Farmingdale in Monmouth Country, paid tribute to all branches of active service members and veterans. The daylong celebration had three segments (educational; golf tournament and VIP banquet) of which raised the most ever in nine years - over $200,000 for national nonprofit, Hope For The Warriors. Domenic Gatto, chairman and president of the country club, coordinated the planning committee’s efforts, led by Joseph J. Cary, Managing Director, KeyBanc Capital Markets.


“The profound loss after 9/11 deepened my appreciation for those in my family and others who work so hard to protect us domestically and abroad,” explained Cary. “Subsequently, I started taking out 20-30 US service members for dinner during Fleet Week with a friend as a gesture of thanks. Our simple appreciation was the brainchild for Honor Day.”


“It took a village to build the event into its present significance, and now we have community support, and, the involvement of Hope For The Warriors, which carries out important programming for military service members and their families.”

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Exposition of Military Assets
At 9.a.m, to the patriotic beat of the Army band, 50 Marines and sailors entered the event to the cheering of local schoolchildren, teachers and branches of military, showcasing military assets deployed and used on a daily basis. Afterwards, the children began visiting different exhibits to learn aspects about the branches of the armed forces. The exposition of assets included: I-Robotics (EOD) {explosive ordinance robotics}; student’s writing get-well cards to soldiers (hosted by Hope For the Warriors); contingency response group communications; air traffic control; aviation management; Coast Guard aviation; Cost Guard HAZMAT response team; Coast Guard Special Operation Boat & Civil Affairs Team; Chemical, Biological; Radiation; Nuclear; Explosive (CBRNE) Recon, Decon and Testing; Honor Guard; Military Intelligence; Cyber Warfare Unit, Military Police; Multifunctional Medicine Team; Physical Fitness-Rock Wall; and STEM Asset Experience (AS7).


Certain assets showcased such as I-Robotic EOD and STEM demonstrated the need for increased emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math curriculums since tomorrow’s future professionals have increased career choices including in the technologically-driven armed forces.


Lt. Col. Edward Croot Gives Keynote Address

Following a complimentary golf tournament paired with two civilians and two Marines, a dinner reception was held. “We are here not only to honor our active service members and veterans, but also our fallen heroes,” explained Lt. Col. Edward Croot. “The table in the middle of the banquet room is set for one, signifying the daily freedom we have is brought to you by the person who is not sitting there.” The Fallen Comrade Table, set with a white tablecloth, is in remembrance of prisoners of war and those missing in action. The tradition began with a group of fighter pilots who flew in Vietnam and is the focal point of ceremonial remembrance, which continues today for those who serve. The service ball featured a narration by participating service members explaining what each item represented.


The proceeds that went to Hope For the Warriors symbolized the success of the event. The economic support is instrumental to continue the organization’s charitable efforts focusing on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement and connection for military service members, post 9/11 veterans and military families.




About Hope For the Warriors

About Eagle Oaks Golf & Country Club

About the Marines

About the Navy

About the Army

About The Coast Guard