COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Ohio State men’s and women’s golf teams will again participate in the Folds of Honor Military Tribute Program this season by carrying golf bags in honor of two fallen soldiers at each tournament throughout the season. At the completion of the 2023 Spring season, the Folds of Honor golf bags will be auctioned off to raise money for the Folds of Honor, an organization that provides educational scholarships to family members of soldiers killed or severely wounded in action. Its mission is to “Honor their sacrifice. Educate their legacy.” Since 2007, Folds of Honor has awarded 35,000 scholarships. Just last year (2021-22), 6,500 scholarships were awarded.
Army Maj. Michael J. Donahue, 41, was the father of three children with his wife Sherri. He will be honored this year by the Ohio State Women’s Golf team.
Army Master Sgt. Jeffrey J. Rieck, 45, was the father of one son. The men’s team will carry a bag in his honor.
Rieck was assigned with two others who were honored during the Ohio State golf teams during the 2021-22 season. Along with Capt. Nicholas J. Rozanski, 36, of Dublin, Ohio, and Master Sgt. Shawn T. Hannon, 44, of Grove City, Ohio, Rieck was assigned to 1st Battalion, 148th Regiment, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Ohio National Guard, Walbridge, Ohio. They died on April 4, 2012 in Maymamah, Faryab Province, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.
Donahue, a paratrooper, was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He died Sept. 16, 2014 in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered in an enemy attack.
Lisa Strom, head coach of the Ohio State women’s team, said the Buckeyes are honored to be a part of the Folds of Honor program.
“It’s truly an honor and privilege to carry a golf bag remembering the sacrifice of Army Major Michael J. Donahue and Army Master Sgt. Jeffrey J. Rieck,” Strom said. “The Folds of Honor Military Tribute Program is woven into the fabric of our golf program at Ohio State, and each year, carrying a golf bag in honor of a fallen soldier serves as a reminder that freedom is not free.”
“The Folds of Honor Military Tribute program is well aligned with our team’s culture, as well as the core values of Ohio State athletics,” said men’s team head coach Jay Moseley. ““The men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation’s freedoms is truly remarkable. Carrying golf bags honoring Army Major Michael J. Donahue and Army Master Sgt. Jeffrey J. Rieck will be a memorable experience for our athletes to proudly carry a bag each week honoring these men and everyone who bravely fought for our freedoms. In addition to the impact of this program on our athletes, we get to share this story all season and spread awareness to the great work that the Folds of Honor does for our wounded warriors.”
“As a sign of respect, our Folds of Honor bag is always the last bag loaded into the van and first bag unloaded when traveling to tournaments,” Strom said. “The person selected to carry the Folds of Honor bag varies, but typically includes selecting a player who is modeling the leadership and personality traits of our soldier.”
The Ohio State women’s golf team opens the fall season Sept. 12-13 at the Dick McGuire/Branch Law Firm event on the Championship Golf Course at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Lauren Peter will carry the Folds of Honor bag at the team’s first event; she was selected by her teammates based on her communication, leadership and encouragement. JonErik Alford carried the Folds of Honor bag in the men’s season-opening event earlier this week.