Gov. Perry stops in ETX to honor fallen soldiers

HAWKINS, TX (KLTV) –

Very quietly, Governor Rick Perry made a stop in East Texas on Thursday, not for a political speech, but to support veterans and their families.

Governor Perry visited a special place near Hawkins that has been set up to serve as a healing tool for those who have lost loved ones in war.

“Pursuit of freedom all too often requires a supreme sacrifice,” Governor Perry said.

Just outside Hawkins, the Allaso Ranch is a haven for broken hearts, and a chance to heal among others who have lost someone to war.

Renee Monczynski lost her husband in Iraq in 2001.

“The compassion and the heart that comes with the organization that is here has just been amazing,” Monczynski says, “We get to bond with other families that are in similar situations–no story is the same.”

Governor Rick Perry joined veterans and their families at the America’s Mighty Warriors retreat organized by Fellowship Church out of Grapevine.

“At the highest levels in the state of Texas, your son or daughter will never be forgotten,” Perry stated.

Former Navy Seal Benjamin Smith says, “What this country was founded on was people who had to fight on our land, right here to create the freedoms, to define the freedoms we share. We live on the legacies of the men and women who have fallen over our history.”

The retreat honors the sacrifices of the people left behind.

It was founded by Debbie Lee in honor of her son, U.S. Navy Seal Marc Alan Lee, who was killed in action while on patrol in Ramadi.

American Mighty Warriors Founder Debbie Lee says her son was the first Navy Seal killed in Iraq. He died on August 2, 2006.

“But it’s not just about Mark; it’ about each and every one of our men and women who’ve served, who’ve sacrificed, who’ve given so much for the freedoms we enjoy,” Lee says, “Not because of how they died but how they lived… We get to carry on their legacy because they filled us with so much love while they were here and we get to pass that on.”

And place where they can remember.

“W will never forget the sacrifice they’ve given,” Lee said.

Several of our Gold Star Families from America’s Mighty Warriors were recently hosted for a week by Fellowship Church and Allaso Ranch. This was a time full of relaxation and rejuvenation that also paid tribute to the loved ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The event came to a close with a memorable visit from special guest, Texas Governor Rick Perry.