Warrior's Weekend honors soldiers

Camille Doty

May 15, 2012 at 12:15 a.m.

Warrior's Weekend organizers anticipate close to 500 soldiers will gather in the Crossroads this weekend.

Ron Kocian, the founder, said the weekend is a way to publicly honor the men and women who serve in the military.

Since 2007, more than 1,000 soldiers have taken part in the celebration.

"We have to let them know they are not forgotten," he said.

Beginning Friday, the weekend-long festivities will have war heroes from Kentucky, Colorado, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas, as well as Walter Reed Hospital and Brooke Army Medical Center.

The soldiers coming in from out of state will fly in to Houston and will then be given a police escort to Victoria. The buses will travel down U.S. Highway 59. The group will stop in Hillje, and pass through Ganado and Edna.

Kocian said the streets will be lined with people ready to salute the soldiers.

"It's quite a sight to see," he said.

Soldiers will arrive at Faith Family Church, 2002 E. Mockingbird Lane, about 3 p.m. Friday for a dedication service.

They will later go to Port O'Connor to fish.

On Saturday, the festivities will be in Port O'Connor with a memorial service, breakfast, more fishing and an awards ceremony.

Kocian, who served in the Army National Guard from 1970 to 1976, said he could not pull off this event without the help of the 200 volunteers and sponsors.

He added that the nonprofit organization is accepting donations.

Kocian said many soldiers deal with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder even after they leave the battlefield. Some scars to do not go away.

He also encouraged the Victoria community to take time to celebrate the sacrifices veterans make for our country, "People should come and visit these guys. They need this desperately," he said.



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