Operation Vacation family falls for Winter Park
July 8, 2008
Soldier William Weeden celebrated the Fourth of July with his family in Grand County this weekend. The trip was sponsored by Operation Vacation, a nonprofit organization with the mission of treating soldiers and their families to free vacations at Colorado resorts.Weeden, 24, started the weekend off with a steak dinner at Fontenots Fresh Seafood & Grill with his wife Tywane, son Lamarcus Dennis and daughter Bianca Ivey.On Friday, Weeden said Grand County had already made an impression on him.Im going to get a job here and stay, he joked over dinner. I really like it.His wife agreed it is a friendly town. Even driving through town people were waiving at us, she said.The family had many activities on its list for the holiday weekend including watching the fireworks, going to the parade in Granby, picnicking, rafting, horseback riding, bungee jumping, hiking and riding the Alpine Slide at Winter Park Resort.Weeden is stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs: Best home town in the Army, is its motto, he said.He said being in the Army is just like other jobs.You got your people you just absolutely love to be around, he said.He has a close-nit group of friends in the Army. They barbecue together and his friends children call him Uncle Will, he said.Its a great job, he said. Its not for everybody its an honorable job.To get by in the Army, All you really need is a little heart, will power and integrity, and (youll) be an excellent soldier just like me, or almost like me, he said.Weeden said he cant imagine himself doing anything else. He enjoys shooting stuff and driving crazy vehicles.I do exciting stuff, he added. The guns are cool, he said. Shooting is exciting Driving tanks is exciting.His favorite part of the service is meeting people from all over. They turn out to be your best friend, he said.Military friends are loyal, dependable, honest and dont let you do anything stupid, he said.On the downside, being away from family is tough, he said.Weedens sergeant nominated him for the all-expense-paid weekend getaway in December. When he was called to the office last month, Weeden thought he was in trouble until he found out the good news.I was pretty excited, he said. It was the greatest thing. I love family time.