WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- A grin spreads across the face of Pfc. Caleb Arthur as he describes his weekend at the Greenbrier Classic.
The 21-year-old Army National Guardsman met Bubba Watson on Friday.
"He signed a golf ball for me," Arthur, of Dunbar, said. "It was really a great moment in my life."
Arthur is one of the servicemen who are helping in a unique way at this year's Greenbrier Classic. Arthur served as an honor guard of sorts for the American flag at the 18th green. The 18th hole was the only hole marked with an American flag, rather than the traditional yellow.
As players approached the last green, their caddies removed the American flag from the hole and brought it to the servicemen, who saluted. The servicemen held the flag while standing at parade rest as the golfers putted. The servicemen then saluted the flag once more as it was returned to the hole. Players shook hands with the servicemen after their last putts.
"I met Sean Payton, and that was really cool," Arthur said of the New Orleans Saints coach who caddied for his friend, Ryan Palmer.
"Yesterday, [Virginia Tech football coach] Frank Beamer came through and I got to meet him," Arthur said. "Phil Mickelson, I shook his hand yesterday. It's been a tremendous opportunity and the Lord's blessed me in so many ways. It's been great. I'm just so humbled to be here."
Arthur stood at the 18th green from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday before another serviceman took over his post.
"They explained it to me very briefly as soon as we got here," Arthur said. "That we would have to be on the 18th green, saluting the flag in front of all the players and people that are here. It was really exciting and it's a great honor to be doing this."
This is the second year that the Greenbrier Classic has had members of the West Virginia Army National Guard tend the flag on the 18th hole.