SPC. Corey Kowall and SPC. Damon Winkleman (a US Army Medic) were killed on September 20, 2009 in the Zabul province of Afghanistan. The incident occurred while they were driving to assist a convoy that encountered an improvised explosive device (IED) not too far from their Forward Operating Base (FOB).

Corey was only 20 years old when he died, but he made a lasting impression on all those who knew him. As a child Corey always wanted to be an Army Paratrooper. Corey was a World War II and Vietnam history buff so his grandfather nicknamed him “Corregidor”. Corey was always bringing home war memorabilia to showcase in his room. When asked where he got the items, he would usually say, “I found it”. When he started bring home large items such as a helicopter door we often joked that we wouldn’t be surprised to one day find a whole tank or plane parked in the yard with Corey giving us his pat answer of, “I found it”.



Written by: Kelly Kowall (Proud Gold Star Mother of Spc. Corey Kowall) -  President and Founder of My Warrior’s Place

Corey served with the Alpha Company, Second Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army, based at Fort Bragg, NC. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Army Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Expert Infantry Badge and the Parachutists Badge.  A Combat Outpost in Afghanistan has been named COP KOWALL in his honor.

​Corey carried himself with a deep love for God, country and family, as well as, a sense of honor and humor. Corey understood what being an American was truly all about. Corey’s Commanding Officer, Captain Paul W. Pena, stated “Specialist Kowall was an extremely competent soldier and an extraordinary individual. His death leaves a tear in our formation and in our hearts. Though sorely missed, Corey will continue to be a source of inspiration and strength throughout Alpha Company.” (Captain Pena was KIA in 2010.)

My Warrior's Place was founded by Kelly Kowall whose son Corey, like so many others, gave his life for our continued freedom. My Warrior's Place, and all those involved with My Warrior's Place, understand that there are no words that can express how grateful we are to those who make the sacrifice by serving in the Armed Forces so that we have the opportunity to live in the land of the free, and additionally, how thankful we are to those who serve in Law Enforcement or Fire Fighting so that we are safe and secure on our home front. There are absolutely no words that can be said to comfort those families whose loved one(s) gave the ultimate sacrifice while protecting us and our country. We will never be able to thank you enough.

My Warrior's Place is a Retreat Center for our Veterans, Military Service Members,  Law Enforcement Officers, Fire Fighters, Gold Star, Blue Star and Silver Star Families. Additionally, My Warrior’s Place offers several amazing programs for those who have put their life on the line for our safety and well being, endured the death of a Fallen Warrior and/or experienced the horrors of war. Each program offered by My Warrior’s Place plays an important role in the healing and coping process, and the support that is obtained through these programs is priceless!

Corey always felt that he was suppose to serve his country; it was what he was born to do, and he lived his dream from an early age. Corey joined the TN Wing of the Civil Air Patrol when he was 10 years of age and rose quickly through the ranks to Cadet Commander during his 7 years in CAPS. He was also in JROTC and active in the Raiders Program in High School. Corey was so committed to enlisting in the military that he went to summer school so he could graduate a year early. His father and I had to sign his enlistment papers because Corey was only 17 when he joined the Army.

my warrior's Place

So, to honor my son and the Army values that he stood for, Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage, I was compelled to find a way to assist those who were mentally and emotionally affected by some of the complex grief issues that arise when the one who died served in the military. Thus My Warrior’s Place, Inc. (a 501 (c) (3)) was founded in his memory.

Although Corey is no longer here on earth, he continues to be a source of inspiration and strength to many more than just those who served with him in Alpha Company.

... after the battlefield

Giving the gift of hope and healing to those who give us the gift of freedom!