- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 1, 2007

Noble: Capt. Daniel Rooney, a fighter pilot in the Oklahoma National Guard and member of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, who pioneered the Patriot Golf Day fund-raiser to help families of wounded soldiers.

Today, nearly 3,000 golf courses across the country, including dozens in Maryland and Virginia, will charge an extra dollar in greens fees that will be donated to Wounded Warriors. This non-profit organization sends the families of injured or killed servicemen to resort condominiums in Florida and Texas to reunite, relax and find peace after serving in combat. The money will also go to the Fallen Heroes Foundation, another organization which helps the families of wounded or fallen troops.

As a fighter pilot, Capt. Rooney had always been far removed from the ground. Last year, sometime after his second tour in Iraq, he was inspired to give back to the families of America’s heroic soldiers.

This year’s inaugural Patriot Golf Day reflects Capt. Rooney’s hard work and dedication to the armed forces. If there were ever need for an excuse to hit the links, this is certainly a worthy one.

For his fun and philanthropic work for the families of wounded soldiers, Capt. Daniel Rooney is the Noble of the week.

Knave: The Discovery Canyon Campus, a Colorado Springs, Colo., elementary school that banned tag on its playground.

The game of tag is as ubiquitous at recess as hopscotch and the jungle gym, but the fun is now under fire. School officials at Discovery Canyon Campus are claiming that tag causes “conflict on the playground” and are prohibiting chasing games. What’s next? A moratorium on laughing because it might strain the vocal chords?

It’s important to foster a school environment in which children feel safe, but to remove any hint of playful competition encourages sloth and oversensitivity. With child obesity rates what they are, it seems obvious that we should be encouraging kids to run and play, not to sit still.

Is playing tag the real culprit? A healthy dose of stress now and again is good for youngsters. In fact, some studies show it helps keep the brain functioning at top speed. Short bursts of stress can help boost the immune system, help ward off Alzheimer’s and even raise the level of good cholesterol. Imagine, something that’s good for your health and involves exercise. Where on earth could children find something like that?

For ruining good old-fashioned playtime, the Discovery Canyon Campus is the Knave of the week.

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