U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham took to the House floor today to recognize a local North Florida charity honoring veterans and their caregivers.
Warrior Beach Retreat is a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 by Linda Cope, after an improvised explosive device blast injured her son, Sargent Joshua Cope, in Baghdad, Iraq. According to the group’s website, the organization provides “a forum for combat-wounded warriors from the Iraq and Afghanistan war” to bring “honor and respect to those who served.”
For two weeks every year, Warrior Beach holds a parade and beach retreat for wounded service members, their families, and caregivers. This year, the spring retreat began April 14.
Graham, a freshman Democrat who represents Florida’s 2nd Congressional District, spoke briefly to praise the group:
“Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize Warrior Beach Retreat, a North Florida charity dedicated to supporting our combat wounded warriors, their families, and caregivers.
“The organization was established by Linda Cope after her son, Sargent Joshua Cope, was severely wounded by an IED blast in Baghdad, Iraq, on November 12, 2006.
“The Cope family turned tragedy into triumph, and twice a year Warrior Beach Retreat welcomes 50 wounded warriors and their caregivers to Panama City with a parade and a week-long retreat dedicated to honoring their service and sacrifice.
“I wish I could be with them in Panama City today to welcome these brave wounded warriors, but unable to do that I’d like to officially recognize Warrior Beach Retreat in the record and thank them on behalf of our North Florida community for all the hard work they do for our veterans.”
Video of her speech is also available on YouTube.