OCW, rodeo champion fete wounded warriors

Operation Comfort Warriors treated dozens of wounded servicemembers to the San Antonio Rodeo on Feb. 12-13.

About 40 injured servicemembers at Brooke Army Medical Center received free tickets to the rodeo and met champion steer wrestler Trevor Knowles, who has elevated awareness for The American Legion’s OCW program on the rodeo circuit. Knowles, a member of Sons of The American Legion Squadron 77 in John Day, Ore., wears patches bearing the OCW logo and website when he competes.

Knowles said that his promotion of OCW began last year and was inspired by his dad, Jeff Knowles, a Vietnam War veteran.

“My dad is a disabled veteran, so I live it every day,” Trevor said. “I know how hard it is for him and it’s probably like that, or worse, for other guys. They might not have the luxury or have the family support that my dad has. I think it’s kind of our duty as citizens to give them the help - if they need it and want it - that they deserve.”

During down time, Knowles toured San Antonio’s Fisher House and the Brooke Army Medical Center. He said his visit reinvigorated his commitment to helping wounded servicemembers.

“If you go and witness it firsthand, it makes donating really easy,” he said. “I can do without. I’m healthy. I’m a young man. I can go out and make a living. A lot of these guys are banged up pretty bad. They are going to have to adjust their whole lives. It’s up to people like myself and others to step up and give them the help that they need.”

In addition to meeting Knowles, the wounded warriors were treated to a country music concert after the rodeo. Singers Kacey Musgraves and Thomas Rhett each performed for the group on separate nights.

Knowles encouraged donations to OCW so that the program could continue to provide wounded servicemembers with rehabilitation items and recreational outings, like the rodeo.

“You can’t have enough support for our veterans,” he said. “And every little bit helps. One thing I really like about the Legion is that 100 percent goes to the veterans. Every dollar in goes to where is supposed to.”

Operation Comfort Warriors

This program provides comfort items for wounded, injured or ill military personnel. All donations to this fund go directly towards the purchase of these comfort items.