Operation Shower delivers a surprise to an Army couple
April 15, 2020
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
Operation Shower surprises military family
It was just another Saturday afternoon in early April, albeit one day ever-so-much closer to the much-anticipated birth of her baby boy.
As Taylor Muse relaxed on the couch in her home at Fort Stewart, Georgia, a video of a man and a woman standing under a massive live oak tree popped up on the screen of her husband’s smartphone.
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The man – a 17-time PGA TOUR winner – began speaking.
“Hey, Tabitha and Jim Furyk here. We’re so sorry we were not able to meet you at the RBC Heritage.”
Then Tabitha chimes in. “Instead we decided to bring Operation Shower to you. So please check your front door and remember -- wash your hands and be safe, and sorry we can’t be there with you.”
“We hope everyone’s safe,” Jim concludes. “We want to thank you for your service, and good luck with your baby.”
Taylor looked at her husband, Bradley, an E3 Private First Class in the Army who had recently returned from deployment. “What?” she asked, the surprise evident in her voice.
“We brought the shower here,” Bradley said.
This week, Taylor and 23 other military moms having 25 babies, including one set of twins, would have been feted at “Operation Shower” on Wednesday at the RBC Heritage. But the event was canceled when the tournament was shuttered in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The gifts they would have received were shipped instead to their homes.
That is, all but the ones intended for Taylor.
The shower was sponsored by the PGA TOUR Wives Association and the Lowcountry Foundation for Wounded Military Heroes, which is the largest third-party fundraising group for Birdies for the Brave. A unique part of this particular shower is the fact that the families of wounded military personnel also are honored.Items donated to the Muse family during an Operation Shower surprise. (Tara Ruby Photography)
The organizers of the event wanted to do something special for Taylor, who had suffered a full-term stillbirth, a daughter they named Violet, a year ago. Since their loss, Bradley and Taylor have made it a point to help others in the community in similar situations, providing grief boxes for the local hospitals to distribute.
Taylor was on bed rest, since her current pregnancy was considered high risk. Soldier and Family Readiness Advisor Candice Schmidt worked with the PGA TOUR and Bradley, sending him the Furyks’ video to show to his wife after the gifts were surreptitiously arranged on a table at the end of the driveway.
Furyk is an RBC ambassador, and he and his wife are big supporters of Birdies for the Brave and Operation Shower, even hosting the event at THE PLAYERS Championship five weeks earlier. Amanda Hadley, president of the PGA TOUR Wives Association, and Brittany Kisner also sent video messages, telling Taylor to look outside.
“She was very mad that I was in on it,” Bradley said, grinning, as the couple walked out of their house with her daughter, Kylie.
Among the gifts Taylor and Bradley received for the new baby were a stroller and the event’s signature “shower-in-a-box,” that includes diapers, pacifiers, baby clothes, diaper bags, blankets and toys. Taylor said in a text that the surprise was “fantastic.”
“We sincerely want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart!” she wrote. “We are so touched to be honored and it was so nice to receive such a wonderful surprise, especially during such a trying time in the world. It was so amazing getting such wonderful gifts.
“Any expecting family would be thrilled to receive such an incredible gift. We truly appreciate the kindness and generosity of Operation Shower, RBC Heritage and everyone involved!”
The best gift of all, though, came nearly a week later, on Friday, April 10, when Sebastian Lee Muse was born.