AURORA — Dan Cleveland said a relative who served in the U.S. Marine Corps was on his mind Saturday.
Cleveland's nephew, Cpl. Christopher Bordoni, died from injuries he sustained while serving in Afghanistan seven years ago. Cleveland, who was at the HR Wilson Memorial Golf Tournament at the Wells College Golf Course to support the charity Homes For Our Troops, said Bordoni's memory had been ringing in his head that morning.
Craig Christopher, who has been on the same team with Cleveland for the tournament for years, said he had been thinking about his relative, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Mike Cleary, who was killed in the war in Iraq. Cleveland and Christopher said they were happy to support veterans.
Home For Our Troops focuses on building and donating "specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans," the organization's website said. Tournament organizer Rick Wilson said the event is named after his father, Homer R. Wilson, a bomber pilot during World War II and a passionate golfer.
A ceremony held before the tournament honored veterans and those who had been killed. Carrying flags at the event were members of the Clark-Heck American Legion Post #568 from Weedsport, American Legion Post #1107 in Union Springs, the Boys Scouts of America Troop 21 from Auburn, the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office Color Guard, and the Patriot Guard Riders, which has members attend funerals of U.S. service members, veterans and first respondents who die in the line of duty upon invitation, according to the group's website.
One of the veterans acknowledged at the ceremony was amputee Ryan Wilcox, who had received a residence from Homes For Our Troops last year.
Wilcox thanked the crowd and said the group enables injured veterans "to continue on with a pretty regular life that otherwise would be a little difficult in a regular house."
Assemblyman Gary Finch said he was honored to be at the event and thanked those who attended for being there.
"This is what we are about. Small-town America doing something good for mankind," Finch said.