New golf tournament honors local fallen Vietnam servicemen


The class of 1964, in memory of the Gonzales County servicemen who were killed in Vietnam, has created a scholarship fund to graduating students and faculty members in pursuit of advanced education in the educational system. This fund was started some three years ago and has provided several opportunities for those who wish to continue their education. Thus far there have been three awardees who have taken advantage of the scholarship opportunities.

The scholarship fund was originally named after Thomas D. Chennault, as there were seven Gonzales County servicemen killed during the Vietnam conflict, his name was chosen to represent all seven County servicemen killed in action. The scholarship fund was initially funded by several classes from Gonzales High School. It was decided in meetings this summer that the scholarship fund should be opened up to all the school districts of Gonzales County.

“We just thought they ought to be memorialized,” Ret. Lt. Col. Kenneth McGinty said. “We want to put this tournament together, one we have a benefit fund that we try to raise money for teachers or educators, not necessarily just teachers, but educators throughout the county that want to continue their education.”

McGinty is a 1962 Gonzales High graduate who served nearly 22 years in the military.

With this in mind there needed to be some avenues to increase the funds of the scholarship opportunity by holding numerous events that could add to the benefit funds and ensure continuation of the scholarship opportunities. The class members have decided that one of the first opportunities to grow the benefit fund would be to hold a Memorial Golf Tournament during the Come and Take it Celebration on the Oct. 5 and will be held at the Gonzales Independence Golf Course. It will be called the Inaugural Come and Take It First Memorial Tournament, in remembrance of the county’s “fallen but not forgotten” soldiers of the Vietnam era war. Our hope is that this Inaugural Come and Take It Memorial Tournament would provide a basis for enhancing scholarship opportunities all across the Gonzales County area and provide continued funds growth and sustainment in memory of our fallen heroes.

The tournament will be a one-day event and be limited to the first 54 two-man teams signing up. It will be played at the Gonzales Independence Golf Course and the proceeds will go to the benefit fund which is officially termed “The Community Foundation of the Gonzales Area, (CFGA).” There is room for walk-ins. For those who haven’t signed up yet, come to Independence Park on Saturday to participate.

“We’re going to feed breakfast, lunch and we’re going to have a lot of prizes that some of the businesses provided,” McGinty said. Prizes and plaques will be awarded after the tournament.

“And also, we’re providing two spots for the Gonzales High golf team,” McGinty added. Gonzales County Sheriff Matt Atkinson is sponsoring both Gonzales High golf teams.
This 501-C3 organization is intended to provide sponsors and contributors with tax deductions when supporting the Gonzales County, student and faculty educational scholarship opportunities.

There will be flyers out in the county area requesting sponsors and donors to support this worthwhile endeavor.

The Gonzales County, fallen but not forgotten are:

Captain Thomas D. Chenault, Corporal Louis Schautteet, Specialist 4 David Tomas, Sergeant Robert Asher, Lance Corporal C. Bolden, Corporal James Tuch and Corporal B. Baker.

If you want to donate, contact McGinty at 830-305-1193.