Injured vets to enjoy a weekend vacation at Lake Martin

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Injured veterans that served overseas are about to enjoy a weekend of special activities courtesy of the Lakeshore Foundation in Homewood.

The Lima Foxtrot program called "Operation Rise and Conquer" allows them to participate in outdoor sporting events at Lake Martin.

More than 30 from all across the country arrived in Birmingham Thursday to a hero's welcome.

First, they participated in a parade through downtown Homewood, and then they were greeted by supporters at Lakeshore Foundation.

"It was amazing to see all the people," said a veteran, Orlando Perez, "It made you feel really good."

At Lake Martin, injured veterans and their family members will participate in events like water skiing, fishing, and basketball. They'll also spend time with fellow veterans who have overcome similar disabilities.

Lakeshore Foundation officials say this is a great opportunity for them to regain their confidence.

"I think they take away a realization they can do this and it will open doors everywhere," said Lakewood Foundation President Jeff Underwood, "We hope this confidence building is a bridge start to a new job or going back to school."

The participants say mostly they are looking forward to relaxing and having fun.

"This is great. It's like a vacation, a dream that came true," said Bernell Perkins, "The local support groups are very supportive, my peers and local vets are very supportive."

Staff and participants will leave Friday for Lake Martin. Activities run through Saturday. They return home on Sunday.