The Power of Rare Experiences

WBP Staff Writer Helen Phillips

May 8, 2024

Checking off a bucket list item for our Purple Heart members provides a significant and sometimes transformative experience resulting in reclaiming the joy in their lives.  “I checked things off my bucket list this weekend that I didn’t even know that I had on my bucket list!” Purple Heart Member G.H., after staying the week on the grounds of Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in a private campsite provided by Chapman Fence Company, gated privacy fence erected in no time! They weren’t there to watch races but to turkey hunt, fish, and take a spin in a corvette!

Purple Heart recipients represent the epitome of sacrifice, having endured injuries in combat while serving their nation. The Warrior Bonfire Program recognizes and honors this sacrifice by offering them not just a token of appreciation, but a pathway to healing and renewal. Through carefully curated activities and experiences, veterans are given the chance to reclaim a sense of normalcy and adventure in their lives.

For many veterans, the aftermath of service can be marked by physical and emotional scars that linger long after the battlefields have faded from view. The Warrior Bonfire Program goes beyond mere survival by providing opportunities for veterans to engage in activities that will ignite the vitality of life or prove to them that their lives were worth someone giving of their time and money to give them a great gift. Whether it’s fishing in a serene lake, attending a big-time event as a VIP, flying in a P51 Mustang, having their name on the side of a NASCAR, or one on one time with a volunteer out on a hunt, these experiences create joy and hope for a good long life!

The concept of a bucket list often takes on a profound significance for those who have faced mortality firsthand. For veterans who have lost friends in combat or have come perilously close to losing their own lives, the Warrior Bonfire Program offers a chance to check off items from that list in a spirit of celebration and defiance. From adrenaline-pumping adventures to quiet moments of reflection, each experience becomes a testament to resilience and the indomitable human spirit. In the face of adversity, living life to the fullest takes on a deeper and lasting meaning.

Many thanks to the following that made this retreat possible.

Chapman Fence Co., Jackson EMC, Potts Family Meats, Skip Parr, Sterling, Seacrest, and Pritchard, Cameron Harrington, Jeff Hardegree, Blake Duck, Tommy Blackstock, Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, and Lott Farm