Commitment to Community

GCEC supports 2023 Warrior Beach Retreat: Where Heroes Gather

Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative proudly sponsored the Spring 2023 Warrior Beach Retreat, held April 11 to April 17. 11 veterans traveled from across the country to attend this year’s spring retreat.

Warrior Beach Retreat: Where Heroes Gather is a 501(c)(3) local, nonprofit organization founded 13 years ago by Linda Cope. Linda is the mother of Army Sergeant Joshua Cope, who lost both legs above the knee and wounded his right hand in a bombing in Baghdad, Iraq. Linda believes when a soldier goes to war, a family goes to war. Her personal experience led her to form these retreats not only for the combat-wounded warriors but for their spouses and caregivers as well.

These retreats are a time of healing, relaxation and connection, saving marriages and lives. Linda’s immediate family is heavily involved in the organization. Linda, president, her husband, Philip, vice president, and their son Jonathan—Joshua’s brother—work tirelessly with area organizations to have accommodations (provided by St. Joe Company), gifts, meals and activities provided for the retreat attendees. These activities include a spa day for the caregivers while the veterans fish on the 78-foot Jubilee, captained by Charles Paprocki. The fish caught are later enjoyed at a fish fry. The retreat includes a parade with an F-22 flyover and a ceremony. This year’s retreat guest speaker was Joshua.

Warrior Beach Retreat is held twice a year in Bay County. Currently, the waiting list of veterans extends into 2027. For more information, visit the Warrior Beach Retreat website.