Friday, September 26, 2014

Why we do what we do?

Here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog.

 So often people come up and thank me for all that I have done yet I then get questions about why do I do what I do.  It does not really make a lot of sense to me so today's blog (rant) is going to be a bit off the normal what's up and more about the why.

Every person has to have a place where they can feel comfortable, for me that place is inside my heart.  I have had to do things in my life that I am not all that happy with on reflection but have come to grips with the fact that they needed to be done.  Getting right with oneself is probably one of the hardest things we all have to do in our lives or at least it is for me.  Yes I use the present tense because it is a daily task not something that is done once and finished.   So how do I go about this process for me?  One word, Forgiveness, that's right simple little thing and I am not talking about saying I am sorry.  I am not talking about asking for forgiveness either.  Yes there is a piece of that in there but the reality is that forgiveness is an inside job.  “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Now that the brick of my wall has been made let's start to build the foundation of my life.  Back in the first paragraph I mentioned my wonderment or conundrum with all the thanks for what I have done with little understanding of why I do what I do.  That "Constant Attitude" of forgiveness requires an action not just an "Attitude" or so I have learned through my life's experiences.  Nothing I have ever done without action has ever had any lasting meaning in my life, everything required action not just a thank you or an I'm sorry but a change in my behavior and attitude.  

So when I was retired from the Army due to medical issues I failed to see it as a blessing and a second chance, what I saw was a slap in the face and a dismissal without a real chance to prove I could actually continue on as a soldier.  I set out to prove I could be successful in the civilian community with all the vigor of a soldier and very little understanding of the gift of life I was actually given.  In time I was slapped again with more complications that did put me on my knees and caused me to almost take my life.  I point this out not for the fact that I was so depressed because of what was going on but to point out how selfish I had become.  I had been given two amazing children and a wife that even though I was so self consumed in my own world stood beside me yet I wanted out, to take a forever solution to a problem that only required me to ask for my own forgiveness and forgive others. 

The act of forgiveness is the key to the change the way I live my life today.  I do what I do today because I was given a future not a past that is bright.  My hand and my mind have to reach out to others that have to travel the same roads I have traveled not to make their road easier but to allow them to understand there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is not a train or a truck barreling down on them.  The hope that comes from forgiveness comes from within not from others.  What comes from others in the end is the understanding that the only way to continue forward is to do what you can everyday.  Never quit as Winston Churchill said once as his speech for a graduation once, then when asked to ad more he said ok Never, Never Quit. 

Sometimes I like to over complicate and have to remind myself that the real trick is to over simplify and enjoy the outcome.  No one has all the answers but when we stop and enjoy the sunsets and all that life has to offer.

Now for the house keeping.  The month of September has been a mellow month for travels for me.  More just medical stuff with a few unplanned issues that came up.  Nothing to get to worried about that is for sure, just took some time to slow down and let my body relax a little.  The month of October is going to be a busy month for sure with a few holidays and memorials happening.  For those that were in during the Beirut timeframe that is going to be remembered right here in the quiet corner again this year.  Please take a moment to say a prayer for those that were taken from us that day on Oct 23. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Iris Peanut Butter Kiss Challenge

The month of Aug was so busy I have jumped straight into September!  The month of September is National Service Dog Month So I wanted to do something special and out of the ordinary.  I know nothing I do is very ordinary but this time I think I really stepped out of the box for even me.

Consider yourself challenged my friends That link goes to my YouTube channel where Iris gives me a big ole kiss! Take a moment go check out the video if you have not seen it.  I am not a great videographer and was pretty tired when I made the video but I hope the point was made.  I challenge everyone to support America's VetDogs and help take this challenge Viral.  I figure if we can raise at least 50,000 dollars then we will have raised enough to support one dog team that is a Veteran and a dog like myself. 

A simple challenge $10 or $50 is all it takes and then challenge as many people as you want.  Don't let it die before we reach the goal.  

Now for the rest of the news.  Iris and I went to North Carolina to partake in the National American Legion Convention.  Wow did we have a great time this year!  I have to admit that now that I am getting involved with this great organization I am learning about all the activities the legion does and wish I had more time and energy.  To mingle with people from all over this great country and see how they are changing lives one person at a time is just wonderful.  Our country is still the greatest place in the world not because of our land but because of our people.  

We had the opportunity to speak to so many people about VetDogs while we were there that I actually lost my voice.  Now that is a first.  

The down side to the trip to NC is that we got news that My Mother in Law had to go in for surgery so we were blessed to have my wifed flown down in time to spend sometime with her prior to the surgery and I was able to drive across the state the day of the surgery and be there when she came out.  Things do work out when I let go and let God.  The good news is she is on the mend and all is good there.  My wife was then able to do the drive home with me which was much longer then I would have liked but traffic just seems to be getting worse now a days.  (maybe I am just getting older and less able to deal with it. )

We stopped on the way home at The National SeaShore which is where the pictures for this current blog were taken.  

The month of September I do not have much planned other then to promote the challenge which has already taken off and needs your support so please either go to my Facebook or Google + or the YouTube and link your Challenge Videos showing your Peanut butter kisses or a challenge where your donating $50 because you did not want to get the kiss!  Either way works as long as we keep the challenge rolling.  

Thank you all for being great Americans!