Monday, April 18, 2011

OS91 special guests of COL Danny McKnight at Warrior Beach Retreat

Ed Ganster with COL Danny and Linda McKnight  
at Wounded Warrior Retreat
Ed and Mary Ganster were privileged beyond words to be special guests of COL Danny NcKnight, USA (Ret.) and his beautiful wife, Linda, at The Warrior Beach Retreat in Panama City April 14 through 16. This very special Event is a four to five day Retreat of "give back" to wounded warriors of the Iraq, Afghanistan war. Warrior Beach Retreat, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non profit Corporation established by Linda Cope to provide a very special way to honor and respect those American heroes who have served our great nation at such a cost to themselves.
OS91 was treated to a dozen red roses and 2 T-shirts and a cap at their room in the beautiful Marriott at Panama Beach who hosted the guests at their Hotel free of charge.
Panama City Toyota donated cars and trucks for the motorcade
Thursday evening, Ed and Mary joined COL McKnight and Linda to be part of the 12 1/2 mile motorcade procession from the Marriott Hotel to First Baptist Church of Panama City. 
Lining the streets from the Bay of Panama Beach all the way to Panama City, patriotic Americans waved flags, crying "Thank You!" to the wounded warriors in the passing cars. 
Panama City Naval Base (Center for Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD)/Diving)
Those on active duty at the Panama City Naval Base lined the perimeter of their property facing the motorcade to honor the wounded warriors passing by. There was hardly a dry eye!

 Local Fire Fighters flag the Tower Truck to honor Warriors
Patriot Riders leading the way, arrived first at First Baptist Church
 and formed Honor Guard for Warriors

Church grounds decorated with WWII posters
A grateful and colorful American
A fabulous dinner was prepared by 1st Baptist for Wounded Warriors. Seated next to COL Danny McKnight was Deputy Scott Frazier of Bay County Sheriff's Office who organized pick up of all Wounded Warriors and their caregivers at the airport, helped cook the delicious steaks at this banquet and assisted with organizing the procession. Thanks, Scott! 
Next, all dinner guests joined attendees of Panama City and its surroundings for an outstanding  Tribute Event honoring the Wounded Warriors followed by a group picture.
Linda Cope, Founder of Warrior Beach Retreat (Front row in pink) 
and her husband Philip with Wounded Warriors
OS91 took the opportunity to give Psalm 91 cards to those on active duty from the Naval Base!
Caregivers at breakfast on Friday morning
Ed spoke to the caregivers at breakfast while the men played golf. These ladies were more than thrilled to receive the Psalm 91 cards, books and Cross Pins!
All were invited to a Dinner Cruise on the Bay Friday night
COL McKnight speaking to Wounded Warriors on Dinner Cruise
COL McKnight spoke of one particular Wounded Warrior who touched his heart very much,   promising that The Streets of Mogadishu, his new book, which will be coming out this May, COL will himself make into an audio book for this soldier who lost both of his eyes in war.

OS91 honors the businesses and business owners of Panama City and the City of Panama Beach for their participation in this wonderful semi-annual  Event. Everything is free for the wounded warriors and their caregivers and the other participants: all meals at Restaurants in these cities, plus golf and spa treatments. Linda Cope's vision is "to see communities from all over the USA come together to host military soldiers and their families affected by (this) war."

For more pictures from the Wounded Warriors Salute visit:

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