Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

D'augustine Lived, Loved and Served

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

D'augustine Lived, Loved and Served

Article excerpt

The package arrived in the mail about two months ago. A set of irons that was never intended for Tony D'Augustine.

Today, those clubs are one of his most-prized possessions.

"They have now become my set for life," D'Augustine wrote in an email to The Record. "They go with me every time I play a round of golf. So, no matter where I go hit some balls, he's there with me."

"He" is Tony's son, Joseph D'Augustine. He loved golf. Heck, the 2001 graduate of Waldwick High School loved every challenge he tried to tackle: From fishing, to being a Marine, Joseph didn't do things halfway.

In Afghanistan -- where Joseph was assigned to find and disarm explosives -- he spent much of his free time thinking about golf, watching the leaderboards online; checking on his favorite player, Davis Love III. Earlier this year, Joseph ordered a new set of irons. He was looking forward to using them with his powerful swing this winter on a trip to Florida with his family. -- Unlike most amateurs, Joseph pounded his 4-iron an impressive 225 yards.

"I was going to insist he at least try using driver for several holes," Tony said. "Well, that's not to be."

On March 27, Joseph D'Augustine, 29, was killed on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. His death came only weeks before he was scheduled to return home on leave for his sister's wedding.

"Our hearts will always be broken," Tony D'Augustine said, "but our deep Christian beliefs and strong family ties help us get through each and every day. Joe was our gift for 29 years. Though he's gone on ahead of us, he left behind his smiles, his laughs, his many stories and his many friends to help us through these trying times."

Many of those stories and friends will come together Aug. 27, when Montammy Golf Club in Alpine hosts an outing to benefit the Staff Sergeant Joseph D'Augustine Memorial Fund. The fund honors D'Augustine -- who served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan - - by awarding a scholarship every year to two Waldwick High School students and providing aid to members of the armed forces who worked directly or indirectly with Joseph. …

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