2nd Annual Props Trot for Troops November 14

Mark your calendars for our 2nd annual Props Trot for Troops 5k and after party benefiting Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, hosted by Props Craft Brewery, Run With It and Northwest Florida Track Club! Volunteers needed to aid in parking pre-event and during the run. Complimentary food + your first beer free. Want to run?
All 5k participants receive a t-shirt and if you’re one of the first 250 people, you’ll receive a branded 16 oz. mug! Race begins at 9 AM…. Complimentary food + your first beer free.  Volunteer here. 

Stripes hosts Oct. 9 book signing for American Hero and Silver Star Recipient

Ryan Hendrickson, a Green Beret who was awarded a Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest award for valor, has authored a book about his experiences on the battlefield, and Stripes Pub & Grill in Navarre is hosting an October 9 book signing for him.

“Tip of the Spear” is the inspiring true story of Sergeant First Class (SFC) Hendrickson, a US Special Forces soldier who was medically retired after stepping on an IED, and his incredible return to active duty and combat.

The book details Hendrickson, clearing the way for his 12-man team. As the “tip of the spear,” his role was to ensure the route taken by U.S. and Afghan troops are free of IEDs (improvised explosive devices). Many soldiers do not survive their last step; those who do often lose at least one limb.

While rescuing an Afghan soldier outside a mud-hut compound in 2010, knowing that he was in “uncleared” territory, Ryan stepped on an IED with his right foot. The device exploded, leaving his foot dangling at the end of his leg.

American soldiers losing a limb is an all-too-common occurrence. But what makes Ryan’s story different is that after undergoing two dozen surgeries and a tortuous rehabilitation, he was medically retired but fought to return to active duty. Multiple skin grafts to his leg and right foot successfully reattached his lower leg, and he was aided in his recovery by wearing a new prosthetic device known as an IDEO (Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis).

Once he passed a series of crucial physical tests, Ryan was able to rejoin the Green Berets within a year and physically perform his duties, redeploying to Afghanistan in March 2012.

In 2016, he volunteered to return to Afghanistan with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group. During a firefight with the Taliban, he risked his life under heavy enemy fire to rescue three Afghan soldiers cut off from friendly forces and return the bodies of two dead Afghan soldiers under the ethos that “no one gets left behind.” For his heroic efforts on the battlefield, SFC Ryan Hendrickson was awarded a Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest award for valor.

An engaging and harrowing account, “Tip of the Spear” tells the amazing story of one Green Beret’s indomitable spirit.

The book signing will take place at 6 p.m., Friday, October 9 at Stripes Pub & Grill, located at 1878 Andorra Street in Navarre.

Sept 12th is a significant day for me, one that changed my life for the better. Sept 12th 2010 is the day I stepped on an IED that almost took my life. It’s not the fact of what happened 10 years ago today, but more of what I’ve done with my life since that day. I made up my mind early on that I would not let my injuries take me over, I would not be a victim of lifes ugly circumstances. I wanted to use this experience to make myself a better and stronger person, to give something back instead of always taking away. There are many stories like mine and I know a lot of people will be able to relate so I used my experience to write a book which I feel could reach many. This book could reach those who may be looking for answers or in a dark place and need to know that regardless of how we served, military, first responders, medical or anything, we all can learn from each others story to make ourselves better. We can refuse to become a victim and refuse to adopt the victimization mentality taking control of our lives and making a positive impact on society.
You are never alone in the fight and reaching out is critical in ones recovery. Theres always a friend or family who can relate and many different organizations that do so much for veterans and go above and beyond ensuring no one gets left behind.
I want to send a big thank you to the many organizations that are there to help military veterans like myself and a shout out to a few that directly helped me. @greenberetfoundation, @specialforcesassociation, @specialoperationsfoundation
I look forward to seeing what this next year has in store for @tipofthespearrmh.
God bless America!
De Oppresso Liber
Tony Hughes, Patrick Colloton and 70 others


Fisher House Emerald Coast hosts online auction October 15 -22

As our 13th Annual Helping Heroes Gala goes on hiatus for 2020, the #carecontinues when considering the needs of our military and veteran families.  While our home has remained open with limitations, additional families have been placed in partner hotels, keeping them together for hope and healing during a medical event.

Want to help us fulfil this mission?  Ways include visiting our online auction, it’s ready for review and easy to bid.  Items include our very popular bucket list vacations, a crowd favorite in our 400-person black tie event each year.  YOU get to be included this year from anywhere USA.  Register early by texting helpingheroes to 22454.

The auction opens October 15 and will conclude October 22.  Here is the auction site.  

Remember, it’s not just a shopping experience.  It’s a way to bless military families.  At Fisher House, we are a blessing connection.  Giving generous supporters the opportunity to bless a military family in need, saying thank you for your service and sacrifice in a very real tangible way.  #loveisgoodmedicine

Our folks have superpowers to bless military and veteran families

Our organization formed in 2007 with some dynamic folks who love our military and that still rings true today. Here is the ground breaking in 2008. Trec Chedister had a foot on the shovel back then, and remains on our board today. We are grateful for the GREAT folks who move a lot of ground to make things happen.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — (Left to right) Trecia Chedister, Emerald Coast Fisher House founding member; Tony Hughes, Emerald Coast Fisher House board member; David Coker. President of the Fisher House Foundation; Maj. Gen. David Eidsaune, Air Armament Center commander and the Air Force Program Executive Officer for Weapons; Congressman Jeff Miller; Col. Bruce McClintock, 96th Air Base Wing commander; Robin Baily, 96th Air Base Wing Director of Staff; and Col. Tama Van Decar, 96th Medical Group commander; shoveled the first bit of earth during the groundbreaking of the Emerald Coast Fisher House. There are currently 90 Fisher Houses worldwide. Fisher Houses provide a home-away-from-home for the families of servicemembers while loved ones are receiving medical treatment at military and Veteran Affairs facilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stacia Zachary)
Trec Chedister

Pave the Way with a commemorative brick

Help us Pave the Way to 2021 and beyond with a commemorative brick. Buy a brick, honor a loved one with a paver that lines the path to the gazebo, to hope and healing for our families and you get a cool stress brick. $100. Listen here how YOU make a difference with a brick. https://conta.cc/330MzHJ Chris Curtis was our featured speaker in 2018. What a story! https://conta.cc/3cugbk9

2020 brings opportunity to make Lemonade

We make some YUMMY lemonade from the year that is 2020…..meet Alan and Leighanne from the Village at Baytowne Wharf. They donated prized Sandestin Wine Glasses, we added a Fisher House charm AND a chance to win an electric bike all for a $20 donation to our #carecontinues campaign. Be 1 of 2,020 to give $20 this year here. https://conta.cc/3j3vEK9

What is a bling box, you ask?

What is FUNraising at Fisher House? We have FUN raising FUNDS to care for our military families. #carecontinues has bling boxes for a donation of $100. What is a bling box, I’m glad you asked. A chance to bless a military family, way important plus you get a box of surprises which includes a $40 gift card to one of 5 select restaurants who love our Fisher House. Party on Garth….in place, with a gala-2-go box from Fisher House! Get yours here.

Breaking News – WBB goes GOLD

As our home turns 10 this year, we are grateful for the partners in the community who love our military like we do. Meet Whitney Bradley Brown, also known as WBB – and this all-star cast led by James and Laura Fulton, board member and secretary Jim Yurack and his spouse Amy, and The TEAM. What a FUN group of Fisher House fans! #loveisgoodmedicine.

Hall of Fame Announcement – Teresa Halverson

Hall of Fame Announcement! At Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, ALL our board members are Super Stars and do amazing work with us and others in the community. Help us Celebrate our recent Hall of Fame awardee, Teresa Halverson. Past Chair of our board.  Teresa served an unprecedented four year term, leading our organization through a rebuild that continues to care for our military families in a big way and remains actively engaged with our mission.  Teresa was recognized for her contributions to the military community and joins an elite group of women who have made a significant impact on the residents of Okaloosa County.

Teresa Halverson

She joins Shirley Pigott, another past chair and inductee.

Each year around August 26 which is Women’s Equality Day, the commission hosts a special reception to recognize the new inductees. Photos of the women are in Okaloosa County Women’s Hall of Fame are displayed perpetually at the Okaloosa County Water and Sewer Building, the Niceville City Council Chambers and in the Crestview Courthouse. Inductees come from all walks of life, races, educational levels and contribute to our county from many, many areas.

2020 Field of Valor

2020 Field of Valor New Release

Once again the Niceville Exchange Club will host the Field of Valor (FOV) at the Boggy Bayou Festival field in Niceville. Due to the COVID-19 virus, the FOV will be open for only one day (11 Sept 20). The opening ceremony will be held at 11:00 September 11th and flags will be flown for  those men and women who have lost their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan since 9/11/2001 from Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay Counties and the 7th Special Forces Group(Airborne) members who were killed there since last year’s ceremony.  Sponsored flags will also be flown in recognition of eligible veterans.  The field will remain up until 4 P.M. on the 11th. Colonel Kevin Trajillo, Deputy Commanding Officer 7th Special Forces Group(Airborne) and General Patt Manney will be speakers.

Anyone wishing to attend is strongly encouraged to social distance or wear a mask. For further information or to sponsor a flag, please contact Paul McShane at 850-225-0412.

William Moomaw

President Niceville Exchange Club