Golf event held to remember Kentucky Marine killed in Iraq

Champions at Keene Trace Golf Course hosted a special event Monday, remembering the life of a Lexington Marine who died while serving in Iraq.
Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 11:53 AM EDT
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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - Champions at Keene Trace Golf Course hosted a special event Monday, remembering the life of a Marine corporal from Lexington who died while serving in Iraq nearly 20 years ago.

Corporal Nick Dieruff died in an explosion in 2004 while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“Nick was the first to lose his life in Fayette County in the Iraqi conflict,” said Emily Dieruf-Chambers, Nick’s wife. “He was just a Marine, young and in love. I mean, we were just 21 and 22.”

Since the day of his passing, Emily’s main goal in life has been to carry on his legacy.

“Nearly 20 years ago, when we lost Nick, I made a promise to him that I would never tire of keeping his memory alive,” Emily said.

The second annual Remembering Corporal Nicholas Dieruf golf event is doing just that.

After losing Nick, Emily partnered with an organization called USA Cares. The organization is geared toward providing veterans with assistance after their years of service.

“We’re hoping to make it an annual event. We’re trying to raise close to $50,000 at this event, and all of that goes to assisting veterans in financial crisis,” said Stephen Brown, Kentucky executive director of USA Cares.

For the past two decades, they’ve been hosting events like this to get the word out.

“We’ve done countless events, including running a marathon, climbing a mountain,” Emily said.

All to continue honoring a Lexington hero.

“There’s almost nothing more important to me than doing just that,” Emily said.

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of USA Cares. In that time, they’ve helped more than 100,000 veterans, and they say they’re planning to do a lot more

USA Cares originated in Louisville, but now expands across the nation with branches in 43 states.