VALLEJO ― Families like the Mixes of Patterson face daily challenges – caring for Mark Mix, a father of three and retired Navy petty officer, who was injured by a mortar blast while on a mission in Iraq.
While Mix undergoes an extensive recovery process, his wife and teenage children live a new reality, caring for their husband and father and meeting his everyday needs as primary caregivers.
On Thursday, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, in partnership with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit dedicated to assisting military families experiencing hardship, will honor five families as part of their Hearts of Valor program in a special Salute to Heroes Day. Each family will be treated to a special day at the park, with all accommodations made on their behalf.
“We are proud to be associated with Operation Homefront, a wonderful organization that fills a void not many of us are aware of,” said Don McCoy, park president, in a press release. “They assist military families coping with deployment and injury recovery, providing emergency financial and other assistance where needed.
“The heroes we salute are not only the ones from the battlefield, but the ones at home. We hope by providing a fun, relaxed day at the park, some of the stress is alleviated and they can spend time together as a family.”
During a special ceremony at 10 a.m., officials from Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will welcome the five Hearts of Valor families from California and Utah.
Other special guests will include officials from Travis Air Force Base and Operation Homefront staff and volunteers.
Travis will also display military vehicles in support of the program and as a kickoff the park’s Fourth of July festivities.
In addition to a day at the park, the families will receive special VIP tours and a season pass for future visits.
A check presentation will be made to Operation Homefront for their ongoing efforts to support military members and their loved ones.
“We are extremely grateful for everything Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is doing to support our mission of taking care of our military families and our brave service members who have sacrificed so much for all of us,” said Jack Chirrick, executive director of Operation Homefront in California, in a press release.
“We have more than 1,900 care givers in our Hearts of Valor network, which supports the men and women like Cecilia Mix, who take care of America’s heroes. By enhancing the emotional and psychological well-being of program participants, we help them heal as a family. We couldn’t do this without the support of great organizations like Six Flags.”
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.