Emanuel County can be proud every day that this is one place that puts a high value on the commitment and devotion of our military veterans. The men and women who have raised their hand, taken the oath, and served here and in foreign lands are living symbols of allegiance, patriotism, and service above self. They are right here among us, and they are special just because they served. From now through the end of the year, we have a special opportunity to show our support for these folks who put aside their own plans to serve our country. Along with Veteran’s Day observances in November and the "Wreaths Across America" project in December, the Wounded Warrior Retreat takes the lead on the calendar this Thursday evening with its annual Banquet/Auction. This event focuses on veterans who bear combat related injuries requiring advanced treatment and support. Many of them may understandably prefer not to talk about or dwell on their military service, but some of them don’t really have that option. They live with the visible and invisible marks of war. That’s the driving force behind the annual Wounded Warrior Retreat this Thursday night, October 6, at Beaver Creek Plantation beginning at 5:00 pm. The project uses ticket sales, donations and proceeds from auctioned items of all types to create opportunities for wounded veterans and their family members to take part in outdoor recreation, hunting trips, sporting events, and other activities that were once part of their lifestyle. Once again, these veterans are able to enjoy the spirit of getting out and participating in a 3-day adventure with no cost to them except the drive to get there. Since 2010, the Wounded Warrior team in this area has worked to expand the reach of the program and increase the number of veterans who will have the opportunity to make new memories with these special outings. The banquet/auction event has grown year after year thanks to much hard work and the generous response of area supporters. Last year’s project raised more than $65,000, and with the strong continuing trend, more and more veterans will benefit from the retreat in the coming year. Chairman of the project, Terry Reynolds, expressed his thanks to everyone for their continuing support and participation. He also made it clear that this project provides a retreat and an opportunity to honor not only the wounded warriors but also the caregivers as well who provide a vital part of the whole process. Congratulations to the Wounded Warrior Retreat and to all who have contributed to its good works, and as always thanks to all of our many veterans, for all the days you served and for all you continue to do.