While the annual Memorial Day Benefit BBQ for the Cape Hatteras Wounded Warrior Vacation Program will not occur this year due to scheduling and food contribution hindrances, donations are still welcome and needed for this homegrown project that does a world of good on a personal scale.
The organization’s founders Kevin McCabe and John McGee, (who are both sons of Marines), are very happy to report that the Cape Hatteras Wounded Warrior Vacation Program on Hatteras Island had another great year thanks to the generosity of many local businesses and individuals.
“We were able to bring three young Wounded Warrior Purple Heart recipients, along [with] their families, to Hatteras Island for one full week of rest and relaxation,” said McCabe in a statement. “They were all chosen through the Fisher House and the Military Order of the Purple Heart from the Marine Corp base at Camp Lejuene, N.C. Each family received a donated beach cottage and a large stack of gift certificates to help ensure their week on Hatteras Island would be a memorable one. This was our eighth season, and we will do it again this summer of 2019.”
The Cape Hatteras Wounded Warrior Vacation Program was launched in 2011 when McCabe and McGee got together, and reflected on the dismal experience of many military personnel returning from Vietnam. From that conversation, they determined to find a way to salute their own dads by giving those returning from later wars a more welcoming reception.
They contacted Chapter 642 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) in Jacksonville, N.C., and with the chapter’s help, they set up the Cape Hatteras Wounded Warrior program. Via the partnership, the MOPH chapter manages all Hatteras program funds with a designated bank account, accepts financial donations, and writes checks for program expenses.
As of 2018, the Cape Hatteras Wounded Warrior Vacation Program has allowed some 25 Wounded Warriors and their families to enjoy a well-deserved respite and vacation on Hatteras Island.
In the summer of 2018, the organization had the privilege of hosting a number of esteemed visitors both on the island and at their BBQ event, which included guest of honor Gunnery Sergeant Juan Vasquez, Jr. who was deployed to Iraq in 2004, and who was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded in heavy fighting around the city of Fallujah.
McCabe and McGee, along with a number of other islanders, essentially keep the program going strong by volunteering their time and very hard work, although both men have stated that the program would not be possible without the willing support of Hatteras businesses and individuals, and their corresponding contributions of discounts, gift certificates, recreational facilities, housing in private homes and local motels, and cash.
Though the annual BBQ is on pause for 2019, island residents and visitors are encouraged to continue their support, and to make a huge difference to our nation’s vastly unsung heroes on a personal level.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Anyone who would like to contribute to the Cape Hatteras Wounded Warrior Vacation Program can make checks out to the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
On the memo line, write Cape Hatteras Wounded Warrior Vacation. They can be sent to CHWWV, P.O. Box 431, Frisco, N.C. 27936. (This specific Hatteras program is not affiliated with the national Wounded Warrior Project.)
Additional questions can be directed to (252) 995-2924 or (252) 995-4788.