BASRA, Iraq - Staff Sgt. Christian Hamilton and his buddies play poker once in a while when they are not on duty or on patrol near Basra in Southern Iraq. And now they'll be wheeling and dealing, and holding and folding for a good cause, supporting Operation Ward 57, which in turn supports injured vets.
The "Hold 'em for Heroes" poker tournament will take place on March 25 with all initial buy-in fees and re-buys going directly to the "Ward 57" program.
Brittney McBride, who is the Tacoma-based administrator for the non-profit says Sgt. Hamilton's regular weekly games can draw as many as 70 poker players. She expects the turnout for the "Heroes" tournament to be 100 or more.
And there are also plans to hold a concurrent tournament here on the same date, to maximize chances for people to participate, donate and help service who are badly injured and re-entering civilian life or military duty.
Sgt. Hamilton is on leave right now, but goes back to Iraq very soon. He'll head for Basra armed with a deck of cards, a good idea, and a new way for service members to help service members.