By Bob Jamison

          Port O’Conner, Texas is a tiny fishing village on the gulf coast of Texas that again steps into the fame it deserves. From the beginning of the first colony of Europeans in l685, the ill fated adventures of LaSalle left his foot prints there in his search for a warm water passage to the Mississippi River from France.

          Today, another event should grab the attention of every American and certainly gain notice of national media news. On the other hand, the organizers saw to it that l50 wounded soldiers from the mid east wars would be honored in a way that Texans and the world should be proud. They didn’t even have a nod from world news, however. But that didn’t stop a great celebration attended by hundreds as a bus load of troops roared into to Port O’Conner with the sirens of police escorts announcing their arrival to a cheering crowd.  

          The entire area pitched in to make this idea of Ron Kocian and Carl Bludau of Victoria, Texas become a reality according to Murray Montgomery of The Lone Star Diary. They named the event “WARRIOR’S WEEKEND” for the second time celebration. It appears now it will likely be an annual event.

          Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts joined the excited crowd to welcome these brave soldiers from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. One young Cub Scout held up a self made cardboard sign that simply said, “Soldur, I want to be just like you”---meaning being a brave American when he grows up.

          Along with the troops was a Medal of Honor recipient of the famed “Tuskegee Airmen” of World War II. These great American fighter pilot patriots fought with a squadron of P-5l fighters. They were all black Americans we should all remember.

          The plan was simple. “Let’s show some of the wounded vets our thanks and appreciation by inviting them out for a day of relaxation and fishing.” Volunteer guides and boats outnumbered the grateful soldiers. Some without limbs and one attractive young woman soldier, who was walking with the aid of a cane, was carefully helped into a boat of her fishing host. As the smiling soldier turned to the crowd of cheering well wishers, she waved and gave “thumbs up” to a resounding applause. 

          As they made ready to depart to the calm fishing waters of Matagorda Bay, the cheers were all but drowned by the thunderous sound of an Apache attack helicopter that flew directly overhead to add to the salute and the delight of the grateful troops. It steeped greatly and returned for an encore and then landed near a plot of 4050 American flags. This number of flags represented each soldier that gave his life for our country and our freedom from terror.

          Another famed group of military heroes, the 82nd Airborne made an exciting parachute jump with amazing accuracy on their landing zone in spite of turbulent winds. Again, the applauding crowd offered their thanks for the paratroopers joining in their proud occasion.

          At the end of the day, there had to be many a lump in the throats of the crowd as the bus load of thankful troops sped away to San Antonio. All the while, the memory of one in attendance said he had asked one of the wounded vets how he felt about the war against terror. The badly burned soldier stood by his wife and three kids and calmly described his desire to rejoin his group again because our defeat is not an option.