In November, communities across America paid tribute to our U.S. Armed Forces veterans, including special Veterans Day commemorations and celebrations. Today, on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we honor 2,403 men and women who lost their lives on, as then President Franklin D. Roosevelt described, “a date which will live in infamy”—the Empire of Japan’s sudden, deliberate attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor 80 years ago.
At Hancock Whitney, we understand that military service has always constituted a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, 365-day commitment, with an ever-present uncertainty about if and when conflict can occur and how we as a nation may respond. That’s why we believe the people who served and continue to serve in America’s military earn and deserve our respect, admiration and appreciation every day of the year.
During this special season of gratitude and giving, we’re humbled to know our partnership with the Patriots at Pasadena Charity Golf Tournament in Gulfport, Florida, helped generate more than $420,000 in donations to help Semper Fi and America’s Fund provide urgently needed resources year-round and lifetime support to combat wounded, critically ill, and catastrophically injured service members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.
Heart-rending Story, Heartfelt Giving
We’re also thankful, too, that with the permission and privilege to share the story of the tournament’s founder, Marine Sergeant Adam Flynn, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), we were able to play a small part in garnering a surprise commitment matching contributions to Semper Fi and America’s Fund dollar-for-dollar up to $10 million.
Fraught with personal battles with alcohol and depression, Flynn’s post-service journey reflects one man’s inspiring recovery from challenges all too often facing countless veterans transitioning from military to civilian life. Hearing Flynn’s experiences moved a private donor to give $100,000 to the Patriots at Pasadena. American billionaire, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and U.S. Marine veteran Bob Parsons and his wife matched those funds and additional donations to the Semper Fi fund up to $10 million through the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation.
Hancock Whitney associates join Patriots at Pasadena tournament founder and veteran Marine Sgt. Adam Flynn to celebrate the success of this year’s golf scramble in raising more than $420,000 for Semper Fi and America’s Fund plus matching funds up to $10 million. Pictured (from left): Hancock Whitney Tampa Bay Regional President Tim Coop (left) and Flynn: Coop and Hancock Whitney Senior Regional President Eric Obeck (right); and Hancock Whitney Leadership & Diversity Education Manager and veterans advocate Chantell Brandt (left) and Flynn. (Photos courtesy of Maddness Photography, Tampa Bay)
“I founded this tournament because I want to help veterans like me. Luckily, I had someone close that recognized my struggles and helped me realize there is more to life and that it’s worth fighting for. I know Semper Fi and America’s Fund will be that support system for service members going through the same struggles that I’ve had and continue to endure,” Flynn said.
The Patriots at Pasadena tournament drew a sold-out, record participation of 144 golfers, including 45 veterans. VIP guests included Captain Richard Phillips, the Merchant Marine who captained the MV Maersk Alabama seized by pirates in the Indian Ocean in 2009; U.S. Army veteran, former Green Beret, and Purple Heart recipient First Sergeant Jay Collins, who champions awareness and support for disabled veterans and athletes; and Naval Aviator Captain Joe Driscoll, American business leader and USMC veteran.
“I’ve had the honor and privilege to meet and befriend these great men. Their support of my tournament has been second to none. We all come from different walks of life, and yet we come together to honor one another as if we’ve know each other for many years,” added Flynn. “I love them all, and I am very grateful to have them in my life.”
Grateful to Serve and Support
Hancock Whitney is a solid American born business serving strong places and resilient people throughout the nation’s Gulf South region. We’ve been able to grow over the past 120-plus years as one of the nation’s strongest, safest banks because of the dedication and sacrifices of generations who have served and serve in our military and their loved ones. We’ve been able to help create opportunities for people and the communities we serve as a result of the courage and commitment of our veterans and active duty men and women in uniform.
We know that when our service members raise their hands and swear an oath to support and defend, it’s a commitment to each and every American. As an advocate for veterans at our organization, a military dependent, and a Navy mother, I know that promise comes with great sacrifice.
At Hancock Whitney, we’re humbled to help Patriots at Pasadena succeed, proud to be part of ongoing efforts to help veterans and their families thrive in all the places we serve, and exceedingly grateful now and always for those who protect and preserve our great land of the free.