Day for thanking all veterans

By Ron Kocian - Guest Column
Nov. 8, 2017 at 5:36 p.m.

Ron Kocian

Ron Kocian   Contributed Photo for The Victoria Advocate

Originally designated "Armistice Day," marking the first anniversary of the end of World War I, Veterans Day is the day designated officially as the time to thank all veterans for their service to our great country. Warrior's Weekend believes that every day should be deemed as such and strives to do so.

Heading into our 12th year, Warrior's Weekend is in a place we never thought we'd be when this endeavor began - still serving those who have served this country and offered up their lives in defense of freedom. We never dreamed it would mean so much to so many, but it does.

Please remember, suicide among veterans is way above the normal citizenry, and we should remind our heroes that we have not forgotten their service and sacrifice for our freedom. We just lost four heroes in the defense of freedom within the last couple of weeks.

It seems like yesterday that we sent our heroes home from Warrior's Weekend XI, and now in less than two months, we will be registering those wounded in the Global War on Terror to attend Warrior's Weekend XII.

Although our mission statement declares that we serve with an emphasis toward those who have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are about to expand our fishing tournament in May to those heroes of other eras who have served in a combat theater.

If you meet that criteria pre-9/11, go to our website warriorsweekend.org beginning Jan. 1 to register to fish in Port O'Connor in May. If you don't use the internet, you can call me at 361-935-7414, and I'll walk you through the process.

We are looking for 100 or so of you to join the hundreds we will bring in from all over the country in May. If accepted, all you will need to do is arrive in Port O'Connor for the activities and join other heroes for a great day on the water and related activities.

So, veterans of Desert Storm, Vietnam, Korea and World War II, please register when the time comes. Allow us to honor you all along with our post-9/11 heroes. On the boats we intend to pair up older veterans with our younger heroes, as best we can.

After the Veterans Day parade in downtown Victoria, Warrior's Weekend will once again honor the service of all veterans with a free luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the VFW Hall, 2001 Lova Drive. We will also serve spouses and widows of veterans, so please let us honor your service as well.

We will be delivering plates of sausage and chicken to those veterans who cannot attend, so let us know if you know someone who cannot make it to the VFW Hall, even if they are in a nursing home or in assisted living. You may call 361-935-7414 or email to warriorswknd@yahoo.com. Again, this meal is for all veterans, not just those who saw combat. If you or your spouse signed on the dotted line to serve our country, you are eligible to dine with us. You will not be required to show proof of service.

If you are the member of a Gold Star Family, please know that you are always welcome to all Warrior's Weekend activities at any time. Your loved one's sacrifice will never be forgotten by us. We understand that one is not truly gone unless they are forgotten.

Please plan to attend the Veterans Day parade in downtown Victoria at 10 a.m. Veterans Day, and remember to thank a veteran for their service and sacrifice - everyday.

Without them and their service, there would not be life as we know and enjoy it.

Ron Kocian is the president of Warrior's Weekend, a 501 c 3 nonprofit. He may be contacted at 361-935-7414 or ron_kocian@hotmail.com.


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