Forever Warriors Brings Help and Hope to Northwest Florida’s Military Families and Veterans

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By Will Estell

Forever Warriors Forever Warriors is a Florida private charitable organization, established in 2021, and made possible by the generosity of Northwest Florida based Step One Automotive Group. The primary focus of Forever Warriors is to better equip current and past military members, and their family members, with an array of tools meant to aid them in their lives outside of, and beyond, their military roles.

Though most of us as residents of these beautiful coastal communities realize we have a large military population across our immediate five county area (which serves as home to numerous military families from every U.S. military branch), what we may not often consider is the hardships and trying times that many of these men, women and families go through—financially and otherwise—both during their time of service and especially when transitioning into civilian life afterward.

Forever Warriors I spoke with Tiffany Orner, Military Engagement Manager of Forever Warriors, as well as Greg Lambert, the organization’s Logistics Support Leader, to find out a little more about what makes this foundation tick and just how determined they both are to find and provide the help necessary for the men, women and families they serve.

Tiffany is passionate about the organization’s pillars. Transition, sustainment, mental health and community immersion are the reason Forever Warriors was born—brought into existence to fill a need to lighten these burdens and circumvent the stigma that often surrounds a military family having to seek help. “As an organization, Forever Warriors realizes that our military heroes often face post service challenges in obtaining the necessary requirements to transition into the civilian workforce,” Tiffany said.

Tiffany says she felt a calling to make a difference for others because of her personal experience coming out of her past military service. “I had a ridiculously tough time, both during and after my service to our country. I am determined to ensure no service member ever feels the way I did. I am thankful for the opportunity to be the change that’s so desperately needed in our local military community. I won’t stop until EVERY veteran wants for nothing; and that starts with supporting those still serving in America’s military,” she said.

Forever Warriors works to multiply the awareness of the number of current community-based and military programs in place for this segment and to make navigating the road to help much more efficient. Additionally, Tiffany and Greg talked about the importance of making members of our coastal community more aware of deficits in the aide this segment of our population might need. All in hopes of uniting to create new ways to best help this ever-growing group of Northwest Florida Gulf Coast families. “Less than 1% of Americans serve in the military. We have to set the standard and have each other’s backs. We are Vets helping our brothers and sisters that have and continue to serve,” said Greg.

Forever Warriors Through their connection and close-knit work alongside other local, state and federal agencies, Tiffany, Greg and the volunteers and partner companies of Forever Warriors are often able to help secure resources from companies and private stakeholders, that are driven and dedicated to serving those who have served our country. In many instances these are companies who are owned or managed by prior service members; thus they see and understand the need they are helping to fill.

By bridging this gap to civilian life and introducing this population of our neighbors to resources and opportunities, Forever Warriors makes it possible for these families to experience a faster, smoother and less burdened transition to the world many of us live in yet take for granted.

As part of their mission statement, Forever Warriors states that their pillars of success are built on compassionate empathy, unyielding integrity, unwavering unity and shared humility and respect. These strong values are the determining strength behind the organization’s support for the military community they serve, and through this service they hope to enlighten and educate all of us as to the importance of doing our part to support Forever Warriors’ endeavor.

Remember, real compassionate empathy is more than a mere acknowledgement of what someone else might be experiencing. It goes beyond walking in another’s shoes; it entails walking beside them in order to lift their burden, help carry their load and best ready them to build a better tomorrow.

For those of you interested in being a part of the upcoming events of this life-changing organization, Forever Warriors, in conjunction with the generous support of Step One Automotive Group, invite you to come out and be a part of one of these events:

March 30: Eggstravaganza, Hurlburt Field
Expectation: Aiming to support military and military family retention efforts, this family-friendly event is expected to welcome 1,500 attendees.

April 13: The Savage Loop: 42 Mile Ultra Marathon, Across five cities and one Air Force Base
Expectation: Conceived by local Green Berets to support terminally ill children and local Gold Star Families, this grueling challenge is anticipated to attract over 500 participants.

April 20: FWB Chamber Military Appreciation Day, The Landing
Expectation: A celebration of local military members with free activities and services, expected to draw 4,000 attendees in a grand gesture of appreciation.

May 3: Commando Games, Hurlburt Field
Expectation: Focused on active duty military retention efforts, this event is projected to attract over 1,000 participants.

May 4: Operation Battle Laugh in partnership with Barracks Legend Foundation, The Island
Expectation: A night of laughter and camaraderie, supporting military and military family retention efforts with an expected attendance of approximately 350.

May 11: 6th RTB Open House, Onsite at 6th RTB
Expectation: Showcasing Army activities in the swamp, this open house aims to connect the community with military efforts, expecting 2,000 attendees.

June 21: Air Force/Space Force Silkies Swear In, DOD Beach
Expectation: Swearing in of Panhandle Future Air Force and Space Force Members followed by a day on the Gulf to include Veteran Owned food trucks, VSO’s MSO’s and other Military Focused Partners with an expected attendance of approximately 200+ Airman, Guardians and their families.

June 28: Freedom Fest, Hurlburt Field
Expectation: A celebration of freedom and support for military and military family retention efforts, anticipating 3,000 attendees.

For more information about supporting Forever Warriors and attending these activities, visit https://www.forever-warriors.org.

Will Estell is a writer, media entrepreneur and real estate professional with over 600 published magazine features in an array of publications from tourism, real estate, and automobile editorials to celebrity interview cover features. Will Estell is the chief creative officer of Estell Hussey Media, LLC, and over the past 26 years has been instrumental in co-founding 12 new magazine titles, as well as serving as editor in chief for numerous others, both locally and for nationally sold newsstand titles. Originally from the backwoods of rural Mississippi, Will is a father of three who splits his time between Destin and Navarre, along with his wife, WEAR ABC 3 Pensacola news anchor, Laura Hussey-Estell. Will is a regular contributor and media consultant to Life Media’s family of publications.