COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – With The Masters set to begin Thursday due to the pandemic, it was only fitting that a Georgia soldier set to retire would spend Veterans Day signing up for his next challenge – playing Division II golf at Christian Brothers University in Memphis.
Jonathan “Buckets” Shuskey, a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army and a North Carolina native, has served in the Army since 2000. He’s been at Fort Benning, Ga. for the last few years.
During his service, Shuskey has been a machine gunner, team leader, squad leader and platoon sergeant. Additionally, he’s served in five tours of combat during his time with the Army, with four tours in Afghanistan and one in the Philippines.
Now, Shuskey is taking a different path. While most students sign for college sports fresh out of high school, the staff sergeant is trading uniforms and taking on a new challenge to play Division II golf at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, once his 20th year of service comes to a close.
“[Legendary basketball coach] Pat Summitt once said that you’re never too old to reinvent yourself. ‘Buckets’ is living proof of her quote,” Chip Seagle, Manchester High Offensive Coordinator and good friend of Shuskey, said.
“Every coach I talked to, we were all kind of on the same page,” Shuskey said. “This situation is unique because I’m not just making the decision for myself. I have a wife and four kids, and they are coming along for the ride too. And so, that was the other part of Christian Brothers that, when I talked to Coach Brice, and he really just seemed to like that idea of us making that move and making that commitment as a family and made me fell really comfortable with that decision.”
Shuskey and his wife have four children. His family will move with him to Memphis in the summer as he takes the next steps of his journey.