Crispy Warriors honored at HarborWalk

The Destin Log
Local veteran group the Crispy Warriors was the first local heroes to be honored during during this year's Red, White and Blue Hero Celebrations at HarborWalk Village. [ABRAHAM GALVAN/THE LOG]

This year's Red, White and Blue Celebrations have kicked off at HarborWalk Village on the Destin harbor.

Throughout the summer local heroes, groups and organizations will be recognized every Thursday night. These heroes will include veterans, firefighters, law enforcement officers, active military and organizations that have made a difference in the world.

The first group of local heroes recognized this year was the Crispy Warriors. Most members of this group served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam wars. The crowd enjoyed a WWII T-6 airshow, singing of the National Anthem and a celebration ceremony.

“We are a group of loyal Americans who love our country and continuously keep our military in our prayers,” said Rich Adams, the group’s spokesman.

Crispy Warriors meet every Thursday morning at Another Broken Egg Cafe in Destin where they remember and tell their war stories.

“The group first started with six members about 25 years ago who met at Harbor Docks and now we have grown to 60,” said Westy Westenbarger, one of the members.

Westenbarger said they got their named Crispy Warriors because they always ordered bacon crispy during their weekly meeting.

“The waitresses started to call us Crispy Warriors and it just stuck,” he said.

The group’s ages range from 50 to 99 years old and represent all military forces.

“We just represent so many veterans who have experienced a lot of history and seen the worst of combat,” said Adams. “Everyone on board have incredible stories and history.”