The Woman's Club of Panama City opened its doors this evening to welcome military warriors and their spouses or caregivers. The club sponsored and provided a delicious meal to the combat wounded veterans and members of the Panama City Fire Department and law officers teamed up to help out.
"Ma'am, I haven't cried in seven years," said Sergeant Shawn Sears. "It's bringing a lot of us to the point where we could draw tears. "It's overwhelming with the pleasure and the compassion its just... it's amazing."
Guest speaker for the Warrior Beach Retreat event is Lieutenant Clebe McClary a vietnam wounded Marine who has won several medals for his bravery during his time in the military. MCelebessays events like these are imperative for a veterans survival.
"We've been through a lot," said McClary. "When you get wounded it's good to get together to encourage each other and all. "Then to have people like y'all care about us and to reach out like this, ya know, we didn't have this 40 years ago and thank God we've got it now."
"With the response even on the parade route as we joined it was phenomenal," said Warrior Beach Retreat creator Linda cope, who's son was injured in the War Against Terror. "Then the love of these ladies and the Woman's Club and the fantastic food they make... it's just off the charts and they're so loving its like coming home to grandma's kitchen."
"This is one of our favorite things to do," said Woman's Club President Elect Gerry Wilson. "Is to fix this dinner for the wounded warriors."
"It's very unique to get to meet people who are true American heroes," said Assistant Fire Chief for Panama City Fire Department Gary Swearingen. "To me it is an incredible honor to get to do this little thing for them while they're here."
"This is one of the best," said McClary. "I've been in all 50 states 30 times and in 50 different countries. "They do a good job here -- an unbelievable job."
"Seven days of this, I don't know how we are going to get home," said Sears. "We are going to be overwhelmed with love and it's been awesome."