May 19, 2010
President Obama makes surprise visit to 29th ID officers
By Maj. Tim Donnellan
29th ID Public Affairs
FORT BELVOIR, Va. — President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the 29th Infantry Officers' Association's Hail and Farewell at the Fort Belvoir golf course May 16, 2010, where he shook hands and thanked the officers for their service.
President Barack Obama shakes hands with newly-promoted Lt. Col. Scott Bartlett as Bartlett displays a special presidential golf ball presented to him by Obama. (Courtesy photo)
“I appreciate what you do,” Obama said. “Thank you for service.” As Soldiers lined up to shake hands, camera phones were everywhere as the officers tried to get a photograph of the President .
More than 70 officers and guests attended the event to welcome new officers and honor the departing members of the 29th Infantry Division.
The Commander in Chief was golfing at Fort Belvoir and graciously accepted an offer to stop by and visit with the officers of the 29th.
“The first nine were great, but the back nine killed me, joked the president when asked about his golf performance.
When the president finished shaking everyone’s hand he walked away only to return with a special gift for recently-promoted Lt. Col. Scott Bartlett .
“Where is that officer who just got promoted?” asked the president as he walked back to the patio outside the clubhouse. Obama greeted Bartlett and gave him one of his presidential golf balls. Most golf balls have numbers stamped on them, usually numbers 1-4. The president explained to Barlett that the ball was a Titleist 44, made especially for the 44th president.
After giving the golf ball to Bartlett and congratulating him on his promotion, the President left the clubhouse.
“What a day! I got to promoted and got to meet the President,” said Barlett.