Fort Hood Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation kicked off a week of Independence Day festivities with a Freedom Golf Tournament at the Courses of Clear Creek Friday.

The golf tournament was free for Fort Hood’s Soldiers, with green and cart fees covered by sponsor Celebration of Love, and a pizza lunch from sponsor Gary Sinise Foundation.

For Spc. Alex Figueroa, a Soldier with the 410th Military Police Company, Friday was his first time out on the links.

“It got me out of work,” he said. “That’s the best part.”

Figueroa was grateful that MWR had hosted an opportunity like this for Fort Hood’s Soldiers.

“It’s a great way to get out of the labors of work and take a break,” he said.

As the young specialist chowed down on pizza with his teammates, he had one word for how he did during his first time playing golf.

“Terrible,” he said. “Absolutely terrible. I did my best.”

Figueroa added that his team shot three birdies on the course and weren’t the worst team out on the course.

“We didn’t come in last,” he said.

The golf tournament was the first major golf tournament for the new III Corps and Fort Hood Commander Lt. Gen. Pat White. Unfortunately, the general was unable to compete in the event, but he did make sure to be there to kick off the festivities.

“I thought it best, on the first tournament that I could participate in, that I did not come out and show off my skills, because it might scare some of you away for future tournaments, because of the physical damage that might be done,” White joked.

White presented Tom Ramsey, Celebration of Love founder, with a plaque to thank him for his contributions to Fort Hood and its Soldiers. He then encouraged the Soldiers participating in the golf tournament to make sure to personally thank Ramsey and his Celebration of Love staff sometime throughout the day.

“I can’t be more proud to spend the day here with these gentlemen and ladies. It’s an honor,” Ramsey said to the Soldiers just before they took off to start the tournament. “Celebration of Love, on behalf of my board and all of the sponsors, thank you. We love you, we support you, we pray for you often and you’ll always be in our hearts.”