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Friday, September 6, 2013

From the Battlefield to the Caddy Yard

Joseph Page at Century CC
Joseph Page
This summer, Joseph Page returned from the battlefields of Afghanistan eager to resume civilian life and provide for his young family. His first stop? The caddy yard at Century Country Club in Purchase, NY. The Purple Heart recipient told me, "I took a week off, then started caddying. It's a good way for me to keep only good things in my life."

Page was in the thick of the action in Afghanistan. He was awarded the Purple Heart for the injury he received while riding as a gunner on a truck that hit an IED while on patrol and was hospitalized for three weeks. Two other squad members were injured as well and their Afghan interpreter was killed by the explosive device. Page served two tours in Logar Province as part of Operation Enduring Freedom as a squad leader in B Company, 2-30 Infantry, Fourth Brigade, Tenth Mountain Division.

The 29-year-old found refuge on the pristine fairways of the quiet Westchester club. They were a welcome contrast to the constant danger he endured in the stark landscape of Afghanistan. "I love the game," he says, "It's also a relief not to have to watch your back all the time."

Page had caddied at the Garden City Golf Club as a youngster. He graduated from Hempstead High and went to college on a partial football scholarship. When it became clear that his dream of becoming a professional quarterback probably weren't going to be realized, he enlisted in the army. "I wanted to do something for myself and for my country," he explains.

Page receives Purple Heart from Major General James Richardson
Today, even on the golf course, Page wears a constant reminder of this price of freedom. It's a KIA bracelet, a tribute to his comrade Sgt. Keith Ruzinski, who was killed on April 7, 2011, while on patrol with Page.

While he enjoys looping at Century, the steady young man hopes to find a more permanent career with the NY Police Department. This summer he took both the NYFD and NYPD exams and scored near the top on both. His ambitions get wholehearted support from his wife, Divisay, and sons Joseph, 10, and Joel, 4.

"In the military," Page says, "the mission is always first. Now, my mission is my family."

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

1 comment:

LoveGolf said...

I met Joseph this summer when competing in LILT at Century CC. I just want to add that he has a special gift for reading the greens. After getting the most perfect reads from him for a few holes I asked him if he was a sharpshooter during his time in the army. His response? He was an eagle eye! It is a privilege to play 18 holes with him. He devoted himself to our country, is a kind young man and has a gift when caddying!