PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Hurricane Michael may have affected some plans for the spring Warrior Beach Retreat, but organizers say the community rallied behind the veterans who have given so much, in order to give them the rest they deserve.
Linda Cope, the Founder of Warrior Beach Retreat said, “This is a hurting community, and it’s going to be for a long time. But they want to honor the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.”
The retreat serves as a way for combat-wounded veterans and their spouses or caregivers to relax and heal. Tuesday locals got the chance to honor those veterans with a motorcycle parade through Panama City Beach.
Izaak Thibodeaux, joined by his wife Marlena at the retreat, said, “The amount of support we’ve been given and provided and the activities we’ve been able to do, it’s just been something special.”
The parade finished up at the Gulfview United Methodist Church where locals continued to pay their respects at the Salute Ceremony with Panama City City Manager and retired U.S. Army Major General Mark McQueen as the guest speaker.
Jack Kennedy and his wife Mary, who were also attending the retreat said, “This is so uplifting, we have a music program where we’re going to sing, we get to see people enjoy life.”
Between service and sacrifice this year’s Warrior Beach Retreat brought two communities together to remember that no matter how bad it gets, as Kennedy explained, “Enjoy every day because it’s not given. It’s not promised.”