Summerwood Stake Hosts Over 200 Wounded Warriors

Contributed By By Linda Talbot Church News contributor

  • 15 June 2015

Houston Summerwood Stake hosts “Welcome Home” celebration for over 250 wounded veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Photo by Jennifer Martino.

“The worst thing you can do with one of these veterans is to forget their service and their sacrifice.” —Ron Kocian, president of Warrior’s Weekend

HOUSTON, TEXAS

For the second year, members of the Houston Texas Summerwood Stake volunteered to host a welcome dinner for more than 250 wounded veterans and caregivers arriving at nearby Bush Intercontinental Airport for Warrior’s Weekend.

Joined by dozens of JROTC cadets, hundreds of neighbors, and Mothers of Military Service USA, Latter-day Saints lined the streets leading up to the stake center, waving flags and holding signs to show appreciation to the wounded veterans for their sacrifice and service.

This was the first event in the 9th annual Warrior’s Weekend, touted as the largest gathering of its kind in the world. It provides a free fishing weekend at Port O’Connor, Texas, for over 950 wounded veterans and their caregivers from all over the USA.

Noting the sense of inclusion and unity that was present, James C. Banks, president of the Summerwood stake, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of the weekend. “It gives us an opportunity to go out and be of service. This is our community too, so we want to be of service as much as we possibly can.”

Ron Kocian, president of Warrior’s Weekend who served in the U.S. National Guard, expressed his gratitude to the Church for hosting the dinner and being a part of honoring the veterans. “The worst thing you can do with one of these veterans is to forget their service and their sacrifice. We don’t want to do that. We want to do our part,” he said.

Active duty military personnel are among those who express thanks to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

Military personnel assist with the celebration to honor over 250 wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

Houston Summerwood Stake hosts “Welcome Home” celebration for over 250 wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

At a “Welcome Home” celebration in the Houston Texas Summerwood Stake, local residents express gratitude to veterans wounded in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

A bugler is among those who welcome 250 wounded veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are hosted by the Houston Texas Summerwood Stake. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

Families, including children, turn out to express appreciation for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan wars during a “Welcome Home” celebration hosted by the Houston Texas Summerwood Stake. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

American flags line the street leading to a “Welcome Home” celebration hosted by the Houston Texas Summerwood Stake for over 250 wounded veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

The Houston Texas Summerwood Stake hosts a “Welcome Home” celebration for over 250 wounded veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

A young girl is among the crowd lining the street to an LDS meetinghouse in the Houston Texas Summerwood Stake where a “Welcome Home” celebration for over 250 wounded veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is held. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

Houston Texas Summerwood Stake hosts “Welcome Home” celebration for over 250 wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

Local residents line the street to the Houston Texas Summerwood Stake building hosting a “Welcome Home” celebration for over 250 wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Photo by Jennifer Martino.