Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Let’s show veterans service is appreciated
The United States of America is a country born from military action. Our foundation was set on the shoulders of patriots who joined militias and the Continental Army to defend their homes from tyranny.
Since that first conflict, the U.S. military has become a force recognized around the world for its strength and prowess. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have faced deadly situations around the world from the trenches of World War I to the jungles of Vietnam and the vast deserts of the Middle East. In every conflict, veterans return with wounds from their service. These wounded veterans paid the price for our freedom and independence with their flesh and blood. Now, we have a chance to say thank you.
Friday morning, Warrior's Weekend VII will begin in Houston, where hundreds of wounded veterans will gather at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. They will be greeted with cheers and applause from volunteers, then take buses through several Crossroads towns before arriving at Faith Family Church in Victoria, the site of the Field of Honor, for the opening ceremony at 3 p.m. The next morning, the warriors, as well as more from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, will go to Port O'Connor for a day of fishing and relaxation.
In all, about 700 warriors will be honored this weekend, and we are glad to welcome them to the Crossroads for this experience. When Warrior's Weekend began in 2007, it served about 55 soldiers, according to Ron Kocian, the organization's president and founder. The growth in just a few years is amazing, and we are proud to host such a successful honoring effort in our region. We encourage area businesses along these driving routes to show their support by putting welcoming and encouraging messages on signs and marquees. Residents can also come out along the route and show their support with signs, flags, cheers and more.
We applaud Kocian and all of the others who took the lead and helped Warrior's Weekend blossom into the amazing event it has become. Every year, hundreds of veterans are given a chance to simply relax and enjoy themselves as volunteers and residents thank them for their service and sacrifices. Thank you to all of the volunteers and boat crews for their tireless efforts to serve those who offered their lives to serve our nation.
To the veterans who will attend this event, welcome to the Crossroads and the Gulf Coast. We are happy you are here and look forward to honoring you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifices. We hope this time can be one of many steps forward on your way to healing.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.