Local program provides all expenses paid vacation for wounded soldiers

Soldiers from the Northeast are in Myrtle Beach for a long weekend for a much needed, all expenses paid vacation.

The soldiers are wounded warriors who most of whom are currently spending most of their time in military hospitals.

On Sunday, a few dozen soldiers enjoyed fun in the sun as one of their vacation days.

It was all possible because of a local program called Scents for Soldiers.

Kip Lee, 28, has served in the Army for nine years.

He was a wounded warrior who was putting the memories of war behind him during his vacation.

"I think it's one of the best trips I've ever been on," said Kip Lee.

Lee's currently working at the Warrior Transition Brigade in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where he once was a patient.

"I got hit in the face with a piece of shrapnel about three inches long and it took out my jaw all the way up to my temple," he said.

Since 2003, he's had 16 surgeries.

And he wasn't the only soldier that was happy to put their lives on hold this weekend to enjoy a vacation.

Thomas Lee, a U.S. Marine Corp. and Army veteran said the time away is much needed, not only for him, but for his wife as well.

Lee said he stays in the Fort Belvoir hospital during the week, but travels more than 100 miles home for some weekends.

He said all that time in the hospital takes a toll.

"They try to get you out most of the time but sometimes when you take your medicine and you're hurting, you don't feel like going out and stuff," said Thomas Lee. "Just being with my wife it rejuvenates me a little bit just to get out and do things that you normally get to do."

Captain Dan Carey, from Careyon Charters in Myrtle Beach, volunteered his boat and time, for the wounded soldiers.

"Now in today's age, there's more emphasis on our military staff now that we need to get these guys the right healthcare and stuff they need to move on with their lives,"

Captain Dan knows how important it is to take a break from their lives, because he's a U.S. Navy veteran.

He said he's thankful to volunteer for Scents for Soldiers and provide a relaxing day out on the water for fellow men and women who've served our country.

"They treat us like family, you couldn't ask for anything more," said Kip Lee, about Scents for Soldiers and the volunteers.

Tamie Boger is also a volunteer with the program.

She hosted Sunday's event at her house on Garden City Point.

She said she'll do anything to help her fellow veterans and military members.

The wounded soldiers leave Myrtle Beach on Tuesday morning.

A goodbye party for them is scheduled for Monday at the Breakers Hotel at 6 p.m.