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Disney Magic Maker Honored with Flag Retreat Ceremony at Walt Disney World Resort

Cappy Surette

by , Manager, Communications at Disney Experiences and co-chair of the Veteran Employee Resource Group known as “Disney SALUTE”

Rob Vickers of Gulf Breeze, Florida is a third-generation armed services veteran with a father who served in the United States Air Force and a grandfather who was injured while serving in the Army during World War II. “I volunteered when I was little … I’ve always liked giving back,” Rob says of his inspiration for joining the United States Marine Corps. It’s this selfless pursuit that carved out a future of helping others throughout his career and personal life.

Disney Magic Maker Rob Vickers of Gulf Breeze, Florida

Rob joined The Army National Guard in 2000 and one year later, served as a 9/11 first responder at Ground Zero. On Saturday, September 8th, he happened to be in New York City, traveling with a church group and has pictures from the top of the World Trade Center’s South Tower.  When the unthinkable events unfolded on Tuesday morning 20 years ago, he was called in to assist on the scene. Afterward, Rob joined the Air Force and went on to serve in Iraq and, after a combined 14 years of service, medically retired in 2010.

Disney Magic Maker Rob Vickers of Gulf Breeze, Florida, helping others

In 2012, Rob and a friend started Emerald Coast Wounded Warriors, advocating for and assisting many local wounded veterans and their families – including those of other 9/11 first responders. As a result, many of the warriors Rob champions for have received free homes, service dogs, emergency mental health care, financial aid, and spaces to safely interact with one another – a critical need for veterans living in isolation during the pandemic. “Helping others is very therapeutic for me,” Rob says of the work he’s doing with the organization.

The flag retreat ceremony at Disney Parks is a tradition that dates back to the founding of the company. Held at both Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, these commemorative rituals give Disney the opportunity to offer sincere gratitude to those who serve and defend our nation. Yesterday, Magic Kingdom Park security and entertainment cast had the privilege of honoring our newest Disney Magic Maker, Rob Vickers, with this special tribute.

The flag retreat ceremony was just one way Disney is honoring this national hero.

@disneyparks Yesterday, #veteran and 9/11 first responder Rob Vickers was honored at a #FlagRetreat ceremony 🇺🇸 #WeRemember #NeverForget #Disney #DisneyWorld ♬ original sound – Disney Parks

For more info on Disney Magic Makers, or to nominate the hero in your life, visit

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