SOUTHHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - Thousands are expected to turn out Sunday, October 9, 2011, in Southaven for a rally to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. It's an organization helping injured soldiers transition back to life at home. The event will be the first of its kind in the Mid-South.
"We're a motorcycle store and a lot of our folks are military or former military and have kids over there," said organizer Amy Marek. "Everyday we hear stories about what's happening, what they did, and how they served."
"This father called up and his son was blown up in an IED outside of Baghdad, literally almost ripped in half," organizer Dave Marek told abc24.com. "He has brain damage and is blind. His father's his caretaker for rest of his life."
When Amy Marek and her husband Dave, both military brats, heard stories like that, they wanted to do more than listen. The owners of Collierville's Recycle Biker Shop looked for a way to help. Five months ago, the two decided to take action, planning a rally to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization helping injured vets adjust to life outside the military.
"The military can only take them to a certain point and this program takes them further mentally and helps them get back," said Amy Marek. "This helps them realize they're still functioning people in society."
The all day event's grown bigger than the two could have imagined.
"We hooked up with the City of Southaven and it just blew up," Amy Marek told abc24.com.
After partnering with Snowden Grove, Lynyrd Skynyrd promised to perform in concert. But Amy thinks the highlight will be when the 11 wounded warriors from the Mid-South take the stage.
"They'll walk out, well not all of them may walk, but they'll all be out on stage. And that's going to be a really moving moment," she told abc24.com.
A time for everyone to say thank you to the wounded warriors, while raising money to support the price they paid for that title. The Mareks are expecting up to 6,000 people. 3,000 tickets have been sold.