The 7th Annual Veterans Tournament hosted by the Sun City Senior Softball Club took place on Nov. 12.
There were more than 125 people, including 80 softball players, from Sun City West and Sun City representing all branches of the Military, including players that became Fireman or Police Officers. All met at the Sun Bowl Field for a day of fun and camaraderie as Veterans of The United States of America.
Two players stood out from the rest, 93 year old Pete Roque and an 89-yearold youngster named Tait Douglas, both served in World War II.
Mr. Rogue played softball in the American League for 14 years until he retired from the game in 2008. He was in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1945. He was stationed in the South Pacific in the Solomon Islands and served as a shore patrolman. When asked what this Veteran’s Tournament meant to him, he replied, “It is an honor to be with other guys that have been in the service and there are all of these wars behind me, so it is nice to see them all.”
Tait Douglas, who enlisted at 17 years old was in the Army Ordinance Blue Star Commandos and was stationed in Belgium and Germany.
“It is a wonderful thing, the camaraderie, and when you see them at lunchtime they introduce the players, with the World War II players going to the pitcher’s mound. I’ll probably be the only one there,” Mr. Douglas said. “Korean War will probably go to 3rd base, then they will call the Vietnam guys out and it empties both dugouts! It is a wonderful thing for those of us who served.” Mr. Douglas also mentioned that from his point of view, the beautiful part of his service was that he did not get into the shooting part of the war and got in just after the war in Japan was over. He further stated, “ By Mr. Truman ending the war when he did, just think about it, how many of us would not be here today.”
Editor's Note: Mr. Douglas was one of the people instrumental in starting the Sun Cities Softball Program.