Military families get royal treatment during Saturday's round at the Heritage

info@islandpacket.comApril 20, 2013 

Four military families got a special treat this weekend at the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing.

Winners of the MasterCard "Best Seats in the House" promotion gave their preferred seating to active-duty military personnel, said Bill Putnam, the tournament volunteer guarding the prized seats.

The military families -- two on Friday and two on Saturday -- were treated to admission to the Friends of the Heritage tent at the 18th tee box and its skybox on the 17th hole. The tent has views over Calibogue Sound, a buffet and bar.

"They were thrilled," Putnam said.

Treated on Saturday were a Marine Corps pilot and his wife, and an Army officer from Fort Bragg, N.C., who instructs special forces, and his wife, who works in logistics for the military.

They were treated by a former Marine officer and a friend who twice won the MasterCard contest.

When a MasterCard message is flashed on a scoreboard at the tournament, winners are selected among those who text back. Up to 10 winners per day are selected, and they show their text message and MasterCard to get into the special seating.

Volunteers went to the Patriots' Post skybox on the 16th green, where active-duty military are treated to free seating, food and soft drinks, to find the four couples that got instant upgrades.

"We thought this act of generosity was a nice way to say 'thank you,' " Putnam said.

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