Kelly Kowall, President and Founder of My Warrior’s Place, who shares the tragic story of losing her son, Corey, who was killed on a combat mission while serving in Afghanistan in 2009. During the interview, she shares how she has turned that darkness into light for others by hosting boating trips for veterans and starting a retreat, My Warrior’s Place, to honor, support and promote healing of the mind and spirit for Military Service members, First Responders, and others whose lives have forever changed due to a tragic event and/or the death of a fallen warrior while in service to our country.
How it all got started – My son, Corey, was killed on a combat mission while serving in Afghanistan in 2009. I know this will sound a little crazy but a few weeks after his death, he started coming to me in a dream and wanted me to buy a boat. I immediately started providing boating excursions to veterans, military service members and families of the fallen out on the Tampa Bay waters. Most of the trips I provided were to his favorite places on the Bay where we use to go whenever he came to visit me prior to his death.
- Our Programs – We have a catastrophic relief program for those living in the local area, we have a program that provides holistic modalities and of course we have the Retreat Center which provides vacation and transitional housing and offers many amenities such as kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, paddle boats, two docks to fish off of, a boat ramp to launch vessels, several gazebos, a putting green, two fire pits, a dog park and an outdoor event area.
- Our Mission – To honor, support and promote healing of the mind and spirit by providing a relaxed setting, special programs and to be a resource for any Military Service Member, Veteran, First Responder (Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters), Blue Star, Silver Star, White Star or Gold Star Family Member whose life has been touched and forever changed due to a tragic event and/or the death of a fallen warrior while in service to our country. To provide a safe refuge and bring about healing and hope to all Veterans and Military Service Members who have returned from the battlefield.
- Upcoming Events – The finals for the Battle of the Bands on September 20th. We will also be starting a raffle in August for someone to win a hunting trip in January. Additionally, in February we will be holding our Battle of the Bay by Land, Sea and Air event. All of our events, fundraisers and raffles are always listed on our website and promoted on our Facebook Page.