PGA Pros, Celebrities Honor Troops, Raise Money At Owasso Patriot Cup

Monday, May 26th 2014, 6:14 pm
By: News On 6

The meaning of Memorial Day hit home at this year's Patriot Cup, which pairs a PGA player, celebrity and military member for a scramble.

Hundreds honored the troops at The Patriot Cup on Memorial Day. We talked to one family in particular whose lives have been forever changed by Folds of Honor, the organization that gives scholarships to family members of soldiers killed or wounded in action.

PGA players and celebrities, like Rickie Fowler and Kid Rock, teed off at The Patriot Cup on Memorial Day.

Few have a connection to Memorial Day like the Ravella family.

"One of the hardest things is to think that they're forgotten, and Troy was a man to never be forgotten," said Ginger Ravella. "Good old Texas boy. Handsome and smart."

Just before Christmas 2006, soldiers were being overrun by the enemy when F-16 fighter pilot Major Troy Gilbert swooped in.

"He saved every single one of their lives on the day he lost his," Ginger said.

Ginger and Troy had five children, all under the age of nine. She said, as a new widow, setting aside money for college was the last thing on her mind.

Folds of Honor awarded scholarships to each of her five kids, like 10-year-old Isabella.

"It's nice to know that we have people who know him, and loved him, and we just kind of feel like we know him," the 10 year old said.

Julie Brugger and her daughter, Air Force Veteran Maria Coleman, are also touched by the support for the troops.

"I mean, they fight for our freedom. If they weren't fighting somewhere else we'd be fighting here," Brugger said.

Coleman said, "I'm still here, and there's a lot of people that died serving our country and there's a lot of family members that are without their family because of the sacrifices they made for all of us."

It's those sacrifices that give Memorial Day its meaning.

"Just such a thank you to what we lost and who we miss," Ginger said.

The Ravella family is just one of 9,000 military families awarded scholarships through Folds of Honor. The Patriot Cup aims to raise more money for more scholarships.