Ruskin Armed Forces, Veterans & Gold Star Family Retreat Seeks Community Support

By Tamas Mondovics

“Our Veterans have already paid the price, our soldiers risk it all for us every day, so we believe that it is time to give back by providing some compassion, support and hope for all of them,” said Kelly Kowall, Gold Star Mother of Spc. Corey Kowall and founder and president of My Warrior’s Place.

While dealing with the grief of the death of her son, Kowall decided that there was more to be done, and that military families coping with similar sorrow and pain could use some special attention.

“My Warrior’s Place and its Project Corregidor Program was born from the loss of special heroes and seeks to improve the lives of the men and women who have and continue to serve in the military to keep us safe, secure and free,” Kowall said.

The mission and goal of My Warrior’s Place, a 1.67-acre retreat center located at 101 22nd St. NW #112 in Ruskin, is simple yet promises healing through a grief and peer mentoring program for Veterans, Military Service Members and Gold Star Families who have endured the death of a fallen warrior.

Coupled with its Project Corregidor Program, the retreat provides Veterans the skills necessary to become peer mentors for other military service members, who are returning from deployments, where they too have endured the pain of losing a brother-in-arms.

My Warrior’s Place members want the facility to be a safe haven where soldiers can come to heal by  making use of amenities that include fishing equipment, canoes, kayaks, a small dock, a boat ramp, hammocks, basketball hoop, a laundromat, as well as workout room currently under construction.

My Warrior’s Place and the Project Corregidor Program is a nonprofit organization and is currently seeking the support of the community, both financially, as well as through volunteers at all levels and in all areas of handyman expertise.

To help raise funds, the program is gearing up for its first annual Memorial Golf Classic, which will be a charter tournament in memory of Sgt. David Andrew Croft and Sgt. Corey Clark, with all proceeds going to support the nonprofit.

The tournament will be a shotgun start scramble and held at the Bloomingdale Golfers Club, located at 4113 Great Golfers Club Dr. on March 15.

The tourney can accommodate 144 players ($125 individual or $450 for a foursome) and encourages residents to become a sponsor or advertiser beginning at $75.

For more information, please contact Kelly Kowall at 727-207-5844.