RUSKIN (FOX 13) - Right here in the Bay Area, there's a place on a river that's especially peaceful, thanks to a mom who lost her son in Afghanistan. That mom has turned her loss into a big gain for veterans and active duty military.
Kelly Kowall's son Corey knew from the start that the military was his calling and his mother says he never wavered from that.
He was just 20 when his vehicle flipped in Afghanistan and he was killed. His spirit moved his mom in a special way.
"Really and truly, I think it was my son and the other veterans and active duty guys in Heaven and God that really pushed this to happen," Kelly said.
What happened is called My Warrior's Place. It's a retreat center right on the Little Manatee River in Ruskin -- a quiet place for veterans like Jason Gomes.
"I went through a lot of stuff when I was in the military and it gives me a chance to think about that and get it out without doing harm to anybody or anything," Jason said as he sat on a dock overlooking the river.
Veterans or active duty military can visit free, or stay at minimal cost. There are furnished cottages and most everything is donated. Even the owner of the land believed in Kelly's vision and gave her a bargain.
Thanks to many hours of work by volunteers, My Warrior's Place is an oasis. Veterans can use boats, fishing equipment, and bicycles, or just do nothing at all. Just relax by the river at this sanctuary for our military heroes.
For more information on My Warrior’s Place: http://www.mywarriorsplace.org/