You can be a part of this yearly event, honoring our wounded American heroes.

American Heroes from 12 military installations, including Walter Reed Hospital and Brooke Army Medical Center, will begin arriving in Port O’Connor, Seadrift and Port Lavaca on May 18 and staying through May 20. The actual fishing tournament is May 19. We are striving to bring in 400 of these heroes plus about 150+ family members this year. About 270 of these heroes will be flying into Bush Airport in Houston.

I wish everyone could see the reception these heroes receive in Houston. It is quite a sight. In 2011, there were over 1,000 Houstonians to greet the heroes and all of us were quite overwhelmed by the reception, especially the heroes. After the reception, the procession begins to Port O’Connor with a stop along the way at Prasek’s in Hillje, a slight detour nonstop through Ganado and Edna and a stopover in Victoria for the Warrior’s Weekend Field of Honor dedication, which begins around 3:00 p.m.

The procession will again move toward the heroes’ lodging in Port Lavaca, Seadrift and Port O’Connor. Once settled, they are brought to the Port O’Connor Community Center for a fish fry and then allowed to go night fishing under the lights, courtesy of The Sanctuary. That makes for a long day if they choose to participate in everything and many of them do. On Saturday, after fishing all day, there will be a great barbecue dinner for them and then night fishing again if they are up to it.

Why is Warrior’s Weekend so important in the lives of these truly great American heroes?

You should come down to Froggie’s Bait Dock or the Community Center and ask them yourself. They will tell you that they don’t receive this amount of love anywhere else. Some of them will tell you that Warrior’s Weekend has had a dramatic effect on their lives. Some of the wives will tell you that Warrior’s Weekend has had a dramatic effect on their marriage. These are very humbling things to hear and that’s why we try to touch as many of these lives as we possibly can. That’s why our lodging has spilled over into Seadrift and Port Lavaca.

Once again, the Warrior’s Weekend Field of Honor will be posting flags in the name of your veteran (s) next to Faith Family Church in Victoria. These flags, which will be posted on May 12, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., can be sponsored for $40 each by going to our website web.mac.com/warriorsweekend and clicking on Field of Honor or by coming to my office, 3603 Miori Ln. in Victoria. This is a great way to honor your veteran and support Warrior’s Weekend.

Something very unique is happening with Warrior’s Weekend this year on Saturday, May 12 in Victoria at the VISD Fine Arts Center, next to the old Victoria High School, 1002 Sam Houston Drive beginning at 7:00 p.m. For the past year, our very wonderful supporter, Sharon Burns, has been making a documentary about Warrior’s Weekend entitled, Return to Honor. This professionally done documentary includes interviews in the homes of some of our heroes all around America, interviewing the heroes’ families as to how an event such as Warrior’s Weekend touches their lives as they endure the effects of their injuries including PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury) that many of them suffer from. You can view a trailer of the film on YouTube, type in Return to Honor Trailer, which shows about four minutes of the documentary.

Tickets for the documentary are $15 and can be purchased at Tigrett Real Estate, Cathy’s Restaurant and Josie’s Mexican Food in Port O’Connor and in my office at 3603 Miori Ln. in Victoria. We believe this is going to be a very special evening.

There is going to be a final volunteer meeting in Port O’Connor on Monday, April 30th at First Baptist Church, 5th and Jefferson, beginning at 6:00 p.m. If you’d like to help and/or find out what will be going on at Warrior’s Weekend, try and attend.

We are still looking for boats to take the heroes fishing, as this year we will need 250+ boats to make sure all of our heroes have a great day. If you can volunteer your boat, email me at ron_kocian@hotmail.com. Let me know your contact information and the size of your boat.

Make plans to be at Froggie’s on Saturday morning, the 19th around 9:00 a.m. (I’d get there sooner for a great seat) to greet our heroes. Give them a handshake and/or a hug—they love it and certainly deserve it. Try and come to the Return to Honor showing; you might see yourself but, nonetheless, it will be a great evening. Also, the sculptors are hard at work, designing this year’s sand sculpture that the heroes love.

Try to come to the premiere showing of Return to Honor, the volunteer meeting in Port O’Connor on the 30th and Warrior’s Weekend VI on the 19th. You won’t regret it. You may call my wife, Sherry or myself at 361-572-0001 for more information.

-Ron Kocian, President, Warrior’s Weekend

“Return to Honor” was filmed at the 2011 Warrior’s Weekend. It was filmed in the hope of showing others in our country how South Texas honors the military heroes who serve and sacrifice for our freedoms.

The premier showing is set for Saturday, May 12, at the Victoria Fine Arts Center on Sam Houston Drive. Tickets are $15.00 donation per person and can be obtained at: Ron Kocian & Associates, 3603 Miori Lane in Victoria and at Tigrett Real Estate, Cathy’s Restaurant, and Josie’s Mexican Food in Port O’Connor.

 

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