The Panhandle is honoring our nations heroes with a week of rest and relaxation. The Warrior Beach Retreat brought 51 military men and women from across the country to Panama City Beach to be honored for their service. The hero’s were injured while serving in Afghanistan or Iraq are calling the Emerald Coast home for seven days.
Wednesday afternoon they were honored with a patriotic parade. The parade and bike ride kicked off from where the heroes and their caretakers are staying at Laketown Wharf. From Laketown Wharf to Downtown Panama City streets were lined with loved ones, veterans and community supporters. For some of the warriors, this is the first home coming they’ve ever received.
This is the fifth year for the Warrior Beach Retreat and the back story to this great week is one of inspiration. Linda Cope started the retreat five years ago when her son Sgt. Joshua Cope lost both of his legs from a roadside bomb in Baghdad. From then on she made it her mission to provide wounded soldiers a week of pampering, relaxation and above all, an opportunity to be honored for their sacrifice.
Following the warriors make their way to First Baptist Church they were treated to a program at where retired First LT. USMC Patrick McClary, spoke about the importance of a strong faith and passing on good morals to younger generations.
Many warriors arrived Tuesday afternoon and will be staying until next Tuesday.