Warriors Weekend

I find it hard to believe that anyone who lives in these United States of America could ever be unpatriotic. To steal a line from “A Few Good Men” we live under the very blanket of freedom these fine men and women willingly defend. Making a decision that will forever change the course of their lives, good or bad, to stand up and protect our freedoms and fight for the freedom of others.

We arrived in POC* Friday afternoon about 5pm. Casey J and I popped over to 10th Street Lodge to drop off our bags and get the room key. We had some of the soldiers from Walter Reed Hospital staying at the lodge with us. It’s hard to overlook the fact that the ages of these guys are really quite young. Back at the camper some ribs were cooked and the boys played with some friends ten year old boy (they really look up to him), back at the lodge with the boys getting into bed around 10pm!! We played some dominoes with some of the guys, figured out the schedule for Saturday and went to bed.

Saturday morning we were at the camper (which is right next to Froggie’s Bait Dock – home of the Warrior’s Weekend) by about 8:30am or so. My dad and Casey’s soldier was one of the guys staying at the lodge with us so they took off about 9:30am. The buses of the soldiers from BAMC** were running a little late, but when they showed up it was a crowd of folks with signs, flags, cheers and the Patriot Guard leading the way (on motorcycles) and five buses!

It took Randy (Dad’s buddy who permanently resides at the camper park) and I awhile to find our guy and when we did we had to bring the boat around to the center loading area to pick him up. Andrew was mobile but required a scooter type chair to complete his mobility. We got a life jacket on him and onto the boat, then it took two grown men and I to lift his chair onto the boat. Those things are built well! We headed out the canal and around the corner right about the time the wind whipped up. After not much luck in the spot we headed inside the intercoastal for some protection from the wind and found a spot where eventually Andrew started catching some whopper trout and redfish!

Serious Fish
One of my favorite photos from the weekend – SFC Andrew and his redfish

Andrew was from Mississippi but had been stationed in Oklahoma, they transferred him to BAMC** after he had brain surgery. Some of his buddies said he was a drill sargent, and I got the impression he was career military and they were in the process of deciding his ability to return to duty. The guys were supposed to be back at the dock by 2:30pm for weigh-in. Andrew won second largest redfish and most fish caught. He is now the proud owner of two trophies and two brand new rod and reels! The camaraderie was awesome and both the soldiers and the volunteers were telling each other thank you and how much everyone appreciated each other.

I can honestly say volunteering at Warrior’s Weekend is something that makes me extremely proud, humbled, and honored. Z Man was very excited to meet the soldiers and shake their hands, I can tell at only five years old he has a since of pride and thankfulness. There was a big BBQ and after party at the community center, the Airborne guys did a demonstration where three guys parachuted from a chopper at about 4,000 feet – way awesome! Saturday night we played dominoes and washers with some of the guys after putting the boys to bed.

Airborne

Overall a very fun weekend, not to mention the first one in awhile that didn’t involve work. Lastly – don’t get caught up in the politics of war and let it taint your opinion of these fine young men and women who fight for us, for your freedom, for the freedom of others. For those soldiers who are wounded with their lives changed forever, yet they are still loyal to their friends and their country. Those who work hard every day to recover, against all odds and still keep and upbeat spirit and positive outlook on life. We should all be so proud of them and tell them two simple words – “Thank You”.

More photos coming to flickr soon…. (see the sidebar)

*POC = Port O’Connor
**BMAC = Brooke Army Medical Center (San Antonio)

I find it hard to believe that anyone who lives in these United States of America could ever be unpatriotic. To steal a line from “A Few Good Men” we live under the very blanket of freedom these fine men and women willingly defend. Making a decision that will forever change the course of their lives, good or bad, to stand up and protect our freedoms and fight for the freedom of others.

We arrived in POC* Friday afternoon about 5pm. Casey J and I popped over to 10th Street Lodge to drop off our bags and get the room key. We had some of the soldiers from Walter Reed Hospital staying at the lodge with us. It’s hard to overlook the fact that the ages of these guys are really quite young. Back at the camper some ribs were cooked and the boys played with some friends ten year old boy (they really look up to him), back at the lodge with the boys getting into bed around 10pm!! We played some dominoes with some of the guys, figured out the schedule for Saturday and went to bed.

Saturday morning we were at the camper (which is right next to Froggie’s Bait Dock – home of the Warrior’s Weekend) by about 8:30am or so. My dad and Casey’s soldier was one of the guys staying at the lodge with us so they took off about 9:30am. The buses of the soldiers from BAMC** were running a little late, but when they showed up it was a crowd of folks with signs, flags, cheers and the Patriot Guard leading the way (on motorcycles) and five buses!

It took Randy (Dad’s buddy who permanently resides at the camper park) and I awhile to find our guy and when we did we had to bring the boat around to the center loading area to pick him up. Andrew was mobile but required a scooter type chair to complete his mobility. We got a life jacket on him and onto the boat, then it took two grown men and I to lift his chair onto the boat. Those things are built well! We headed out the canal and around the corner right about the time the wind whipped up. After not much luck in the spot we headed inside the intercoastal for some protection from the wind and found a spot where eventually Andrew started catching some whopper trout and redfish!

Serious Fish
One of my favorite photos from the weekend – SFC Andrew and his redfish

Andrew was from Mississippi but had been stationed in Oklahoma, they transferred him to BAMC** after he had brain surgery. Some of his buddies said he was a drill sargent, and I got the impression he was career military and they were in the process of deciding his ability to return to duty. The guys were supposed to be back at the dock by 2:30pm for weigh-in. Andrew won second largest redfish and most fish caught. He is now the proud owner of two trophies and two brand new rod and reels! The camaraderie was awesome and both the soldiers and the volunteers were telling each other thank you and how much everyone appreciated each other.

I can honestly say volunteering at Warrior’s Weekend is something that makes me extremely proud, humbled, and honored. Z Man was very excited to meet the soldiers and shake their hands, I can tell at only five years old he has a since of pride and thankfulness. There was a big BBQ and after party at the community center, the Airborne guys did a demonstration where three guys parachuted from a chopper at about 4,000 feet – way awesome! Saturday night we played dominoes and washers with some of the guys after putting the boys to bed.

Airborne

Overall a very fun weekend, not to mention the first one in awhile that didn’t involve work. Lastly – don’t get caught up in the politics of war and let it taint your opinion of these fine young men and women who fight for us, for your freedom, for the freedom of others. For those soldiers who are wounded with their lives changed forever, yet they are still loyal to their friends and their country. Those who work hard every day to recover, against all odds and still keep and upbeat spirit and positive outlook on life. We should all be so proud of them and tell them two simple words – “Thank You”.

More photos coming to flickr soon…. (see the sidebar)

*POC = Port O’Connor
**BMAC = Brooke Army Medical Center (San Antonio)

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