I posted about the Halo For Freedom Warrior Foundation’s 2014 Weekend To Remember event back in mid-Febrary. I was honored to play a small sponsorship role in support of Shotgun Blasters and I was even more honored with an opportunity to cover the event. Today’s post provides a brief overview of the 2014 Wounded Warrior Weekend To Remember in hopes that you consider ongoing support of the Halo For Freedom Warrior Foundation.
A wide range of activities were offered to wounded veterans and honored guests, including a helicopter hog hunt, nighttime bow fishing, tandem skydiving, golf, and a western-themed gala, just to name a few. These activities took place from Thursday through Saturday, March 6-8, 2014.
The Marriott Champion Circle hotel (across from Texas Motor Speedway) served as the hub for the event. The Halo team and volunteers were setup in the main entrance by 9AM to welcome attending veterans and guests.
Attendees arrived by car, shuttle, and even by helicopter.
This was an awesome and well-deserved experience for those who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy in America. After arrival, everyone enjoyed a chance to meet and talk with others in attendance.
This post would go on forever if I were to mention and provide a photograph of every single person in attendance. Here are a few of the warriors and honored guests.
Former US Navy Seal Jason Redman and author of the book,”The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader”
Joe Kittinger, Ret. USAF, Former POW, and holder of word-record skydive (102,800 ft.) from 1960-2012.
U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg
Former Army Air Corps, Calvin J. Spann, one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen
Several Medal Of Honor recipients were also in attendance. I will refer you to the Halo For Freedom web site for a complete list of warriors and honored guests.
After lunch, everyone was shuttled or flown by helicopter to nearby Northwest High School where the entire student body, staff, and guests listened to presentations from several attendees. We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and they provide the foundation upon which we build our lives. Imagine the opportunity offered to those young men and women to listen to the words and admonitions of brave warriors and Medal Of Honor winners.
This critical message of hope, opportunity, and the benefits of freedom must be passed along to future generations and I applaud the Halo For Freedom Warrior Foundation and Northwest High School for arranging this spectacular function.
After returning to the Marriott, a safety briefing was offered on the various exotic weapons that were available for firing on Friday morning. Sponsors also had items on display.
This is one of three custom shotguns created by Shotgun Blasters that was auctioned off at the Saturday Gala event to raise funds for the Halo For Freedom Warrior Foundation.
Friday was a difficult day for me. Most of the activities took place in Hamilton, TX. I had a prior business engagement that prohibited me from traveling to Hamilton. Fortunately, several other photographers and the video crew made the trip and you will be able to view still photos and video of the day’s events from the Halo For Freedom Warrior Foundation web site.
Some of the activities included
- Tandem jumping
- Exotic weapons shoot
- Aerial Hunting
If that was not enough, the patriotic band, Madison Rising put on an awesome concert at the Ridglea Theater in Ft. Worth. I was fortunate to have time to make it to that event.
The band posed for pictures with guests, including Halo For Freedom Warrior Foundation founder, Dana Bowman.
The passionate display of patriotic visuals, quality music, and sheer energy combined for an unbelievable show.
Performing the Star Spangled Banner with audience participation on the show floor was a highlight among highlights.
The two main activities on Saturday morning were the golf tournament and Nascar driving. We received some bad news from Texas Motor Speedway that the high humidity level prevented having the actual race cars on the track.
The consolation was being able to drive around the track at reduced speed in ‘The Limo,’ a twelve-person, open-air vehicle in the elongated shape of a race car.
An alternate horseback-riding event at Circle R Ranch was also arranged, but I was unable to attend. I’m sure the Halo site will have photos of this event up in the very near future.
The delay gave some of the veterans an opportunity to explore the surroundings at the Texas Motor Speedway. I was honored to push Cory Remsburg around in his wheelchair and interact with both his father and a couple other veterans for about forty minutes. Although this span of time lasted less than an hour, I would count it among the top experiences in my life.
I arrived back at the hotel in time to cover a few holes of golf. It was a cold and windy morning, so I have to applaud everyone who made it out for the nine-hole scramble and million-dollar shootout. Now, if you think wounded veterans can’t play, you should have seen this long putt!
I’ll put money on him any time, any place!
Lunch was a welcome opportunity just to get back indoors. The room featured a wide variety of military memorabilia.
Great food was followed by entertainment and an awards presentation from the golf tournament.
I believe they played four-person teams, best-ball format. With the cold and hard wind, can you believe that the winning nine-hole score was a 29?
I enjoyed the afternoon break to catch up on photo processing before the climactic event of the weekend, the Saturday-night western-themed gala at the Circle R Ranch in Flower Mound. Warriors and guests arrived by shuttle.
and then they were presented with autographed copies of books among other items.
There was plenty of time to mingle
and view the numerous items up for auction at the end of the gala, including three awesome builds from Shotgun Blasters.
Scott Murray and Tex McDorman served as co-MC’s for the event and Joe Kittinger gave a fantastic presentation.
The video team did an awesome job of not only covering the event, but putting together an overview video of the entire weekend that was presented at the gala. Afterwards, it was time to eat.
The auction took place at the end of the gala. I’m very pleased to report that my modest three-figure cash donation was combined with others to help Shotgun Blasters build three awesome shotguns that sold for a grand total of $8,000, all of which was donated to the Halo For Freedom Warrior Foundation.
I would like to thank Dana Bowman for organizing the Halo For Freedom Warrior Foundation and Ken Tucker for his incredible support (both online and offline) of the Weekend To Remember Event. I hope you see fit to visit the Halo For Freedom Warrior Foundation web site not just for photos and video of the event, but to support them in an effort to say ‘Thank You’ to everyone who served and sacrificed for the freedom and opportunity we enjoy in this country.
You don’t get something for nothing
You can’t have freedom for free
You won’t get wise with the sleep still in your eyes
No matter what your dream might be
- N. Peart, RUSH