Major Dan Rooney to join Veterans Center for anniversary

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BAYTOWN, TX — The Lee College Veterans Center will celebrate its fourth anniversary and recognize Veterans Day next week at a special event featuring Major Dan Rooney, a three-time tour of duty F-16 fighter pilot, professional golfer and founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation that provides scholarships and assistance to the spouses and children of soldiers killed or disabled in service.

The Veterans Center celebration will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 10, in the Rundell Hall Conference Center on campus. The event is free and open to the public, and military service members past and present are encouraged to attend and be honored. Refreshments will be served.

Rooney was a night-duty fighter pilot in Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning the coveted Top Gun Award and Spirit of Attack Award as a top graduate of F-16 pilot training. He has received numerous medals for his military service, including the Air Force Commendation Medal; Air Medal; Anti-Terrorism Medal; Combat Readiness Medal; and Air Expeditionary Medal. He recounts his personal journey of service and sacrifice in the book, “A Patriot’s Calling: Living Life Between Fear and Faith.”

After returning home from his second tour of duty in Iraq, Rooney watched a grieving family meet the flag-draped casket of a young soldier killed in combat. The experience spurred him to create Folds of Honor, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to the families of these American military heroes. For his work with the foundation, Rooney has received the White House Presidential Volunteer Service Award and many other accolades, and been recognized as one of People Magazine’s “Heroes of the Year” and ABC World News Tonight’s “Persons of the Year.”

As a PGA professional, Rooney is principle owner of the historic Grand Haven Gold Club in Michigan and founder of the Patriot Golf Club in Oklahoma. The Patriot is home of the Patriot Golf Championship, an invitation-only tournament and gala supporting the families of fallen and disabled service members.