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Culture HALO Weekend honors wounded warriors

HALO Weekend honors wounded warriors

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HALO Weekend to Remember

The 2019 Weekend to Remember, sponsored by HALO for Freedom, is set for March 20-23 at various sites throughout the Metroplex. For those wishing to help honor these and many more wounded warriors, tables of 10 are $2,000 each, while individual seats are $250.

One hundred percent of the proceeds go toward helping wounded warriors. Halo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based at 100 Spanish Oak Rd., Willow Park, 76087.

Donatios may also be made online at haloforfreedom.org.

While Dana Bowman believes they should all be remembered always, one particular weekend coming up will celebrate over 50 wounded warriors from five military branches and first responders.

The 2019 Weekend to Remember, sponsored by HALO for Freedom, is set for March 20-23 at various sites throughout the Metroplex.

The idea is the brainchild of Dana Bowman, one of America’s most notable wounded warriors who has been an inspiration to many with his drive, determination, and will to succeed. He is a retired Sergeant First Class with the U.S. Army where he was a Special Forces Soldier and a member of the U.S. Army’s elite parachute team, the Golden Knights.

Bowman is also a double amputee. He lost his legs in an accident during the annual Golden Knights training in Yuma, Arizona, in 1994. He and teammate Sgt. Jose Aguillon collided in midair during the team’s annual training. Aguillon died instantly and Bowman’s legs were severed from his body, one above the knee and one below the knee.

Nine months later, he turned this tragedy into a triumph when he became the first double amputee to re-enlist in the United States Army.

Now, as president of the board for HALO for Freedom, Bowman works to honor many other wounded warriors like himself. The term HALO means high altitude low opening, a term used in the special ops world Bowman was in.

Many years ago, working with other nonprofit foundations around the United States to be able to help out our warriors veterans and soldiers, I came up with an idea to be able to give them a weekend that they’ll never ever forget and that’s why we call it a weekend remember,” Bowman said. “And it really is. If you’re able to do all these incredible things in one weekend you will never ever forget it.”

The weekend will include:

*March 20, NASCAR driving experience and tandem parachuting, Texas Motor Speedway, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

*March 21, Helicopter target shooting, repelling, hog hunting, machine gun shoot, long-range sniper shoot, pistol and skeet shooting, Texas Tactical, 4104 Zion Rd., Weatherford, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

*March 21, Night bow fishing, Lake Ray Roberts, 7 p.m.-1 a.m.

*March 22, Weatherford High School Warrior Presentation, 2121 Bethel Rd, Weatherford, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

*March 22, lunch at Autobahn Fort Worth, 2828 White Settlement Rd. noon-1:30 p.m.

*March 22, Billy Bob’s Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, 8 p.m.-midnight.

*March 23, lunch at Cattlemen’s Steak House, 2458 N. Main St., Fort Worth, noon-1:30 p.m.

*March 23, Western-Themed Gala, Circle R Ranch, 5901 Cross Timbers Rd., Flower Mound, 5 p.m.-midnight.

Among the honored warriors this year are:

*MSGT Leroy Petry and CSM Gary Littrell, Medal of Honor recipients.

*Col. Greg Gadson, featured in the movie Battleship.

*SSG Charles Linville, USMC EOD Warrior, climbed Mount Everest.

*Scott F. O’Grady, shot down over Bosnia.

*Robert Cole, the Last Doolittle Raider, WWII.

*Alex Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, and Spencer Stone, from the movie 15:17 to Paris.

*Mykel Hawke, from the TV show One Man Army.

*Alton D. Johnson, Army Sniper, pistol and rifle expert.

*Astronauts, generals, and colonels representing all five military branches.

*Cory Johnson, Texas country singer.

“Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, civilians, sponsors bring them all together, let them fellowship, let them meet and greet, let them share their stories and tell the world about our foundation and how it does help,” Bowman said. “Maybe will it will prevent suicide. Maybe it will help them to get motivated to move on and do better things, and on top of that give back.”

The event began 13 years ago in Weatherford with a dozen warriors, Bowman said, and it has continued to grow.

“Now we’re up to 50 to 55 and all these incredible things that we do each and every day. We like to be able to give back to community,” Bowman said. “I like to bring these warriors in and for them to tell the stories, and it gets bigger and better every year. And, on top of that, it’s acknowledging all of our veterans, soldiers, and warriors in the communities.

“It’s about everyone telling all their stories. Imagine them talking to 2,000 students at Weatherford High School. This year we have a Warrior coming that attempted suicide, and he’s going to talk to the students about last chances, about your life and how quick it can go by.”

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