HOLTVILLE- Veterans from the Imperial Valley, Yuma, and San Diego were honored Saturday night at the annual Wounded Warriors Benefit held at the Imperial Palms Resort which included a day and night of relaxation and fun.
The local Wounded Warriors was started to give veterans a fun weekend by Don Floyd and Bill Clavery. The veterans were treated to a morning of pheasant hunting at the Clavery ranch. In the evening the veterans had a relaxing dinner followed by a concert to finish off the day.
“It’s a like a retreat for us. You go and you get food, guns and ammo, and planted birds to shoot,” said Rorey Nichols, an Army veteran from Imperial who has been coming for two years.
“I absolutely love it,” said Marine Corp veteran and Purple Heart recipient Richard Salinger.
“We want to do something for the guys who do so much for us and our country,” said Floyd, “We want to show our appreciation.”
The weekend is open to all veterans from all branches and walks of life. Some come from as far as Yuma and San Diego to play for the weekend. Wounded Warriors will transport those who cannot get down to the valley themselves and by using vehicles donated by Desert Auto.
Besides food and music for the veterans, an auction included guns and an American flag that once flew over the White House. All money from the proceeds went back to the Wounded Warriors group to help fund next year’s event.
In her second appearance, Gold Star mother of Marc Lee, the first Navy Seal killed in Iraq, Debbie Lee, spoke about helping those who have given so much, as well as honoring the sacrifices they have made while in service for our country. Lee also reminded people that it is because of these veterans and other soldiers fighting, that we wake up everyday with the freedoms we take for granted.
“If we had more people who did this, our soldiers would know that they are loved and honored,” said Lee.
All of the money raised at the benefit dinner will go towards Wounded Warriors to help set up for next year’s event.