Warrior's Weekend gives wounded vets chance to enjoy Texas

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An annual weekend trip has turned into a lot more than a free fishing excursion for hundreds of wounded soldiers.

"(They're) from Hawaii, to Puerto Rico, and all points in between," said Warrior's Weekend president Ron Kocian.

The 13th annual Warrior's Weekend is kicking off Thursday, May 17 and it's bringing 650 soldiers to Texas.

EMBED More News Videos

'NO ONE DOES IT LIKE TEXAS': Every year, they invite them to Texas to eat, fish and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Each year, the event invites wounded military veterans to Texas to eat, fish in Port O'Conner, and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

"We pay for everything," Kocian said. "We raise money all year long. This weekend will cost us in the neighborhood of $600,000."

It's a weekend trip that means a lot to Wayne Smallwood of Georgia, who was there for the first Warrior's Weekend.

This year marks his 10th visit.

"No one does it like Texas," said Smallwood. "No one does it like Texas."

The weekend starts in Houston, where soldiers received a police escort to the Humble Civic Center for a hot meal.

On Friday, they'll head south to go fishing, and visit the Warrior's Weekend field tribute, which is covered in red, white, and blue.

To make the event happen, the group holds 40 fundraising events throughout the year, and Kocian hopes the tradition will continue for years to come.

"I liken it to a wedding," said Kocian. "It's a big build up, and then you have to start. I have another marriage next year!"

Warrior's Weekend begins to fill spots for the trip at the beginning of each year.

For more information, click here.

Follow Nick Natario on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.