Saturday, July 4, 2015

From my heart, I thank you, United States Armed Forces men and women

Thank You, for all you've done for us, for all you do now and for all you will do in our future.

Where can one possibly start to thank all of our brave soldiers, past and present, who keep us safe? I don't think there is anything I can say or do to fully express the appreciation I feel for the simple things in life we take for granted, all because of these brave souls.

I sat here for a good hour day, trying to find the words to fully express how I feel, and I can't.  What can you say to those who have risked their lives so I can sit in front of a computer in my very own home I worked so damn hard for, because of those who fought, fight and will fight for us who don't have these luxuries and allowed me to have the opportunities to work hard for what I want?  I don't know what to say, so I'll just say what I can.

I have never been in the military, but I can appreciate, more then words will every be able to express, everything our service men and woman have gone through for us.  I've seen what Vietnam did to a very close friend of mine, who is not only like a brother to me, but also a father.  I've seen what it did to another friend of mine, coming back from Iraq, living with demons he can only control by being highly medicated.  I can't look at that and not be grateful.  Most importantly, I've seen the stress my sister endures on a daily basis for the past 10+ years she's been in the Navy, still serving as an officer, and I could never handle the kind of stress she goes through.

Even though I've been told again and again, I would have made a great Marine, I don't think I could ever have handled what you all have gone through for me, for us and for this country, and I can't thank you all enough for our freedom.

If I was famous, if I had millions/billions of dollars, if there was something I could do to influence people in this country to come together to fix our most disgusting and embarrassing problem, homeless Veterans, I would.  I'm not an angry person, far from it.  I'm a happy, glass half-full kinda guy, but when I see a homeless Veteran on the streets, I'm disgusted, angry and embarrassed being in a country that allows this to happen to people who have fought for this very same country.

And you know what gets under my skin?  These millionaires and billionaires fighting over money in the NFL, who sit in their million dollar homes, having enough money collectively to end homelessness for not only our Veterans, but much of the United States, and instead of focusing their efforts on helping the very people who Protect and Serve us to make sure these self-important people have their cushy fru-fru lifestyles, they sit their arguing over their millions and billions, instead of arguing who's going to build the biggest homeless Veteran shelter or hospital, who's going to create the most Veteran jobs, or most importantly, who's going to pay for the funerals for these brave souls.

See, as I write this now, I'm getting very emotional.  It pisses me off so much with a mix of sadness, anger, hurt and frustration, because if I had their money, I would end this travesty.  If I was famous, I would use that fame to support our troops.  People may not care for or like Lady Gaga, but ya know what, that's what she does.  She advocates and fights for those who fight for us, and that's why I admire her.  Why can't there be more of her kind around?

I say to all of the millionaires and billionaires out there in the United States, what the hell is wrong with you?  You sit there enjoying your cushy lifestyles because of people dying for you, and all you do is argue over your money without people fighting for our Freedom, we wouldn't have the lives we have now.  We wouldn't have hospitals and research organizations and other charities because we wouldn't have Freedom.  There is so much money out there to end this problem, and nobody seems to care.  I see it every day.  I see people on the street walking past homeless vets, looking the other way, pretending like they don't exist.

Do people think Freedom is an entitlement?  It sure seems like it.

And let's be very clear about this.  I'm talking to the ones that do not care, the ones who do not help or do not take the time to show their appreciation, either vocally or monetarily.  I'm not generalizing and stereotyping all of the rich, successful people out there, but only the ones that are so self-entitled, self-important and narcissistic who don't believe they have to care, rich or poor, because they are too important to bother.

If you are one of those, then get the hell out of our country.  You don't deserve to be here.  Find another country with the heart that our soldiers have to protect you.  See if you can.  I seriously doubt you will.

Hell, you don't even have to donate a dime, but just show some appreciation. Make an effort to say "Thank You" to any Armed Forces individual, past or present, when you see them. That's all it takes. If you did that, even I would be content you did so.  Words can be more powerful then anything in this world, so at least give them that much.

I, for one, don't sit on my ass in my house thinking I deserve this.  I am grateful every single day I wake up that people are out there, that don't even know me, will to die to keep me safe so I can have what I have.  I worked my ass off coming up fairly poor to achieve what I have.  I know what it's like to start life with nothing and work hard your entire life for something.  Unfortunately, for many of those service men and women out there, when they come back from war, they aren't even given the opportunities we have had because they are either haunted by their service, or there is nothing left for them to come back to.

I know this went off on a tangent, from saying Thank You to this, but I wanted people to know that there are those of us Americans out there who really and truly appreciate what you do for us.  There is a not a day I wake up that I don't appreciate the fact I did wake up and have the freedom I have to go and do whatever I have to do to make it in this crazy world.

My favorite quote of all time is by John Force, NHRA champion.  His simple words he said during an on-track interview a few years ago said it all.  He was asked "How are feeling today?" since he was recovering from a major racing accident.  He simply said "Well, I woke up breathin' ".  Just that simple saying says it all.  We wake up every day because somebody is out there in the world fighting for us.  Just simply waking up should be enough to be thankful for in life.

Don't ever take life for granted, and most certainly, don't EVER take what our Armed Forces do for us on a daily basis.

I thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart.  There's no amount of donations I can give to help Veterans they way they need to be helped, or nothing I can possibly write to make things right, but at least I can try to spread the love by saying Thank You.

I hope by taking the time to share my feelings, somebody out there feels that appreciation and knows there are many of us that truly and whole-heartedly appreciate you.

Thank you!