Review by Jean Johnson
I don’t know about you, but I love to read stories of people who turn calamity and heartbreak into something that benefits others who hurt. This book is inspiring, and offers an anchor of hope for our forgotten in society, veterans.
Kelly Kowall is a proud Gold Star mother to her 20 year old son, Army Spec. Corey Kowall. He was an active duty soldier on a combat mission in Afghanistan when he was killed on September 20, 2009.
After Corey’s death, Kelly was faced with a divorce, having to pick up the pieces of her life and redesign a new one. For several nights after Corey’s death, she had reoccurring dreams of Corey telling her to buy a boat that she saw parked beside the road she drove down on her way to a grief support meeting. She was hesitant, but when the dreams persisted night after night, she finally inquired about the boat. The price of $7,000 was beyond her budget, but after telling her story to the owner, he reduced it to $2,000. He was a veteran and wanted to help her. She bought the boat, gave veterans boat rides, and allowed them to talk about their life and war tragedies. Others joined in and offered boat rides as well. Kelly felt a connection to her son while driving the boat and interacting with other veterans who were devastated from the conflicts of war. After being encouraged by friends and family members, Kelly formed a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization when she named; “FAVE Boating Expeditions,” to provide a means of helping veterans connect, and find peace and hope while on the waters.
She has since created a retreat called “My Warrior’s Place” which provides a serene atmosphere for veterans and their families, or those who have lost a military hero, and a peer-to-peer veteran grief support-mentoring program called, “Project Corregidor.”
This remarkable book will make you cry and laugh as the author chronicles a struggling five-year journey of loss and tragedy, unexpected miracles, and a place to honor her son and other veterans. Her story offers the hope that anyone can triumph losses and hardships. Every chapter in her book is a story of a miracle that occurred during her journey. I highly recommend this book.