Suntree Country Club dedicates memorial to veterans


Members of the U.S. Air Force 45 Space Wing Honor Guard presented the colors with honor at the dedication.

Austin Rushnell

Honoring veterans is an important part of the American lifestyle, even more so with the ample population of senior citizens in the Viera area.

On April 7, the Suntree Country Club held a dedication ceremony of a new memorial on its golf course, dedicated to veterans.

The bridge is called the Veterans Memorial Bridge and is located on the Challenger Course.

The original idea was put forth by Fred Galey, a retired United States Air Force colonel who is the chairman of the social committee of the Suntree Country Club.

“We’ve got veterans that represent all services (here today),” Galey said. “(Veterans from) WWII, Vietnam, (etc.); and all branches of services. (The project was funded) within the club.”

During the ceremony, a bronze memorial plaque was presented by the social committee in honor of veterans, and the National Anthem was sung by Cynthia Pishdad, a retired United States Air Force lieutenant colonel.

“As a nation, we need memorials to connect us with our heroes, and the proud men and women that serve to keep us free,” said Michael W. Wynne, a former Secretary of the Air Force. “Truly, the connections to community make the whole concept of service resonate within our population, as service to country is, in fact, service to each individual community in the most straight-forward way.”

After the ceremony, audience members were invited to participate in a poolside gathering at the Suntree club.

“We have a lot of veterans here at the Suntree Country Club,” said Shurell Reader, the director of communication at the Suntree club. “And with them always playing, it’d be nice for them to see a veteran memorial on one of the bridges.

“You don’t have to live in Viera or live in Suntree to be part of the Suntree Country Club,” Reader added. “The surrounding communities are welcome, all.”