I can't say enough about this man here, Mr. Henry Brown or the many others I have had the honor of meeting since. I gotta say hes the launch pad my shuttle operation needed. Without his help and connections I would never have gotten as far as I have. Henry opened the gates. The next evening, Monday, was a dinner in honor of the Wounded Warriors in town and I attended that event and met the other Gold Star families from the area along with many of the wounded Marines. It was interesting, some of the Marines I met were with units I had just finished supporting on my last deployment and to see them back home recovering from serious injuries was another reminder of what is still happening...too bad the rest of America can't see this. They would rather lead comfortable lives in blissful ignorance. I shouldn't speak ill though, this is the safety and comfort that the military provides and fights for so the average American, and citizen of the world, can live a life free from fear. We just ask that you dont forget and show appreciation when you can and remember that your peace of mind and freedom was earned in blood. Blood still spilling today. The Gold Star families are the source of my motivation and drive...to a slight degree, I feel like I can understand their loss but never will I fully comprehend it unless I have walked in their shoes. It is completely unnatural for a parent to bury a child and the heartache and emptyness left behind can never go away. It is my true desire to honor the lives and service of the fallen so that you may know you have our deepest respect and gratitude.
Wednesday at Sweet Tomatoes was just as eventful...I met many more amazing people who blew me away with their support and generosity. I thank you all so much for what you have done to help get the word out. I have to say all of you are fantastic and you are doing great things. Jacki = Wonderwoman. Thank you. I had everyone there sign the bike for added motivation and the flag was signed as well with the names of the local fallen to ensure I would have the priveledge of doing my ride in their honor. I look forward to this ride and I have to again, thank those who have helped so much to make this possible. Even the small things meant so much to me, thank you. My ride shows up in roughly 90 minutes...maybe I can catch a quick nap before the show up! Its been a long, fulfilling week and the day is almost here.
I have a new riding jersey that I am excited to wear on the first day of the trip, its quite apropos and I have to say thanks to Pete Raisanen for giving that to me. Hes doing a coast to coast trip in May to support the Childrens Heart Foundation. I follow his blog, Coast to coast from the heart. Check it out in the meantime, hes doing a great thing also. Thanks for the added flair =D
Shortly after meeting Henry, hes busy helping me out.
It was interesting, Barb has a personal connection to a few names from 2/5 that I already had on the flag, ones that were added the previous week by Robert.
Adding the names...