‘A special essence’

Published: Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 09:59 AM.

“But in Port St. Joe you can feel it is out of pure thankfulness, nothing more. Sometimes that can get lost in translation, but it is good the warriors are there for as long as they are because they can see it is sincere.”

The Forgotten Coast Wounded Warrior Weekend includes two signature events, an honor parade and banquet which will take place May 15 to honor 20 warriors and their caregivers.

The parade will meander through town from WindMark to the Centennial Building, traveling Reid and Long Avenues en route while escorted by the Warrior Watch Riders.

 The banquet will be followed the next day by fishing with local boat captains, who donate their time, the expense of a day on the water and their vessel to ensure fish end up dangling on the end of lines.

Those events, Silva noted, can make a wounded warrior feel like a “circus animal” and be “overwhelming” after spending months surrounded only by family and caregivers while convalescing serious, life-altering, wounds.

“It is a lot,” Silva said. “You don’t expect people to do that. You don’t like being told thank you for doing your job. And that is all I was doing, my job.”

Silva, as a participant in a Wounded Warrior event and a frequent visitor to the area since, said the community spirit of Port St. Joe slices through that curtain.

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