TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Honoring a Tallahassee native and the first Florida National Guard Soldier killed in action in 2003 is what many in the community were doing Saturday at the 7th annual Sgt. Robert Wise Chili Cook Off.
Tammy Wise never misses this annual event because it's in honor of her son, Sgt. Robert A. Wise.
"I appreciate so much that the community comes out to support this event and to remember him. As a mom, I couldn't ask for more," said Wise.
This event is one way family and friends remember Sgt. Wise but it also honors all who have served and sacrificed by helping to send local vets on the trip of a lifetime.
"I went on the Honor Flight last year and it was an extreme experience. When I got off that flight in Tallahassee, I lost it," said Chuck Mohr.
Loved ones of Sgt. Robert Wise started this event 7 years ago in memory of a fallen soldier, son and friend. Everyone is here to celebrate his life but also to raise money to send nearly 100 veterans, like Chuck, on the Honor Flight in May.
The Honor Flight flies veterans to D.C. to visit the monuments raised in their honor. And to Mohr it truly was an unforgettable experience.
"It's the first time that I've come home and been welcomed home," said Mohr.
All proceeds from this chili cook off go toward sending veterans like Mohr on the Honor Flight.