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Wounded Warriors

Marcy Williams Published: September 25, 2011

While in Panama City Beach, we enjoyed dinner one evening at The Breakers restaurant, where we observed an event so notable I had to mention it.

The Breakers is a lovely fine-dining establishment complete with two-story windows overlooking the Gulf. The food was delicious and the service was excellent. While we were enjoying our dinner seated at a table on a level overlooking the dance floor, a large group entered and took tables that had been arranged to one side of the dance floor. As we observed them, we realized that some of them were being wheeled in, while others were obviously handicapped in other ways.

The instrumentalist who had been entertaining us on his keyboard turned the microphone over to one of the group and we began to understand the significance of these diners.

This was a group of Wounded Warriors and their spouses or caregivers who were being treated to a few days at the beach by the Warrior Beach Retreat, Inc. ( This non-profit was founded by Linda Cope after her son Joshua was severely wounded by an IED blast in 2006.

Twice a year a group of twenty-five Wounded Warriors and their families spends four to five days at Panama City Beach for a cost-free retreat. They enjoy an extended R&R during that time, along with a chance to hear speakers and receive recognition for their service.

We were thankful to have been witness to this example of a community that comes together to honor combat-wounded soldiers through the donations of lodging, meals, gifts, fishing trips, movies, tours, and much more.

May Panama City Beach be a role model for communities across this great Nation.