Mother creates ‘My Warrior’s Place’ in Ruskin after he son was killed while serving in the military

Kelly Kowall's son Corey made the ultimate sacrifice when he died in Afghanistan fighting for our country.  

Kowall said he always knew he would join the military.   She said, 

"Corey was one of those children that knew from a very early age that he wanted to serve his country," Kowall said. "He was only 17 when he went in, and he served three years before being killed."

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Kelly Kowall's son Corey made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting for our country. He served in the military for three years before his death.

She saw how his death affected those he served with and how it devastated her family. She wanted to do something to help, so she created "My Warrior's Place." 

It's a quiet, five-acre waterfront retreat in Ruskin, surrounded by nature. It offers fishing, canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding for free.  Veterans can even stay overnight in one of the cottages for a small donation.  

It's open 24/7 for veterans, active duty military, first responders, their families and families of fallen heroes.

"You know, what we're trying to do here is give them a place they can come when they're having a bad moment, because you don't know when that's going to be," Kowall said. "It's not like you can go to your calendar and go, I'm going to schedule a bad moment."

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My Warrior's Place offers a number of programs as well to help veterans. One of the newest is "My Service Dog's Place."

"A veteran's a service dog is a priceless tool for them. It's a medical device that they need," Veteran Cha Lundry said. "And when they go to the hospital for something threatening, it shouldn't be a decision of do I need to get this medical condition taken care of or do I need to go take care of my dog?"

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It doesn't cost the veteran anything. Their dog will be well-taken care of and be waiting when they get out of the hospital.

My Warrior's Place is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, visit