Approximately 700 wounded veterans from across the nation and their family members were welcomed to Port O’Connor and Victoria, Texas, by local communities, businesses and volunteers for the seventh annual deep sea fishing event and barbecue to cele
Approximately 700 wounded veterans from across the nation and their family members were welcomed to Port O’Connor and Victoria, Texas, by local communities, businesses and volunteers for the seventh annual deep sea fishing event and barbecue to celebrate these heroes and their patriotism.
Holt CAT, the Caterpillar equipment and engine dealer for south, central, north and northeast Texas, and the Caterpillar North American hydraulic excavator facility in Victoria, Texas, are proud sponsors of this annual event as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to veterans and employees serving in the United States military.
The veterans arrived Saturday morning to a welcome rally before boarding boats to begin their fishing adventure and friendly “big catch” competition. In the evening, the warriors and their families were recognized for their outstanding contributions at a barbecue dinner and ceremony, where decorated military dignitaries addressed them.
In honor of the heroes, the Warrior’s Weekend “Field of Honor” will remain on display until June 2, 2013, in Victoria, Texas, where more than 2,500 flags will honor the sacrifices of the armed forces.
“Warrior’s Weekend is about more than fishing and having a good time — it’s about touching lives and making a difference, strengthening families, and honoring the service and sacrifice of the wounded soldiers,” said Ron Kocian, president and founder of Warriors Weekend. “Caterpillar and Holt CAT have been, and continue to be, a mainstay of Warrior’s Weekend. What great community partners they are. We could not do this without their generous contributions year after year.”
For the third year in a row, Caterpillar and Holt CAT supported Warrior’s Weekend by donating all the equipment needed to power and cool the outside event, including several Caterpillar Tier 4i XQ350 portable generators and numerous 20 ton air conditioning units, along with other equipment needs. Additionally, more than 80 Caterpillar and Holt CAT employees donated their time to the event, greeting the heroes, serving them meals, preparing care packages, and more.
“We are honored to be able to support Warrior’s Weekend as it is a reflection of our Caterpillar values and our ongoing commitment to support American veterans and those serving in the military,” said John Jones, facility manager at the Caterpillar excavator manufacturing facility in Victoria, Texas. “Supporting a cause as worthy as Warrior’s Weekend is the least that we can do to help the Victoria region honor these brave soldiers that have given so much protecting our freedom.”
The companies also employ a significant number of veterans and have robust policies in place to support those in the Guard or Reserves. Both companies are committed to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Hiring Our Heroes” program.
Given the unique skill-sets, discipline and strong work ethic of soldiers returning to domestic opportunities, veterans are often highly qualified candidates and fit well within the Holt CAT and Caterpillar work cultures. Currently, more than 17 percent of Holt employees are veterans of the armed forces, and Caterpillar employs more than 2,500 veterans.