I was doing a livecast at Veteran Owned Veteran Operated in Abington, MA. Jonathan Gosselin asked me to talk about South Shore Veterans Assistance during the livecast. SSVA is a local group from the South Shore area of Massachusetts who support Veterans. Many of these individuals are civilians.
Jonathan said it would be a good idea to reach out to SSVA Inc. after the livecast to learn more about the good work they are doing. It is also a good idea if you need custom screen printing or promotional materials to go to VOVO Inc on 1540 Bedford Street in Abington. Check out Jonathan’s website – https://vovoprints.com/ to learn more.
So I got on Facebook and sent a message on the South Shore Veterans Assistance Page – https://www.facebook.com/SouthShoreVeteransAssistance/ and Cindy got right back me. SSVA would be putting together gift bags for Veterans that Monday night, would I come down and check it out?
Whitman VFW Post 697 is located about 40 minutes south of Boston, depending on traffic:) The VFW has several events and a friendly bar. Walking into the room, there crew was already in motion assembling the gift bags. Cindy introduced me to me to Dave Andrews who is the treasurer for SSVA. Since SSVA is a registered 501c3, they are creative in how the advocate veterans. Dave told me that the majority of the members of SSVA are civilians. A civilian himself, Dave came from a military family wanted to serve Veterans in a meaningful way. You can watch my conversation with Dave here – Facebook Livestream with Dave Andrews of SSVA .
I wanted to leave you with this. You can make change right where you if look hard enough. SSVA has been doing this for many years, and is always looking for help. Can’t wait to come back and find out more. Thanks for all you do, Merry Christmas!
This is the amazing crew that put together the gift bags for Veterans
LiveCast at Veteran Owned Veteran Operated – 12/09/18
VIcki Smith – Fitts talks with me about the documentary 21 Years a Folded Flag.
Owned. What does that mean? Business owners know about the word owned. It has been a good thing to talk with so many Veterans who are business owners. Many times that ownership is dealing with problems that customers never know about, all to take care of family and provide for the future.
I met Jonathan Gosselin recently at a 22Kill Event in Abington, MA. We had done business in early 2018, but never met face to face. We started talking about the OMR brand and my goals for 2019 when he hit me with an idea. I could come to his store and livecast from VOVO INC (https://vovoprints.com/). So we did a livecast as couple of weeks ago and it went great. Jonathan aske me to come back on Sunday December 9th to talk with other Veterans and people who support us.
Setting up is a cinch now and it gave me a chance to talk with Jonathan about what he is doing. He has given me some great ideas for promoting Oscar Mike Radio, and we got some laughs from the last livecast I did.
The question was asked about my feelings. Was I nervous? Did I think this was going to be difficult? I was a little bit nervous and then once the cast went live I was ok. I didn’t really think about anything other than listening to guests and talking about why we were all here on Sunday.
Jonathan didn’t really talk a lot on this livecast, and there was a reason for that. He wanted people to get one on one with me to talk about what had worked for them during hard times and how they used what they learned to meet their goals. In that regard, this livecast was a great success. You can watch the video below and let me know what you think. Go to Facebook, Like and Follow VOVO INC and Oscar Mike Radio.
Veterans, you are not alone. We need to own our success and keep building on what we have no matter the obstacle.
Richard Fitts Jr. invited to come watch the pre-release version of “21 Years a Folded Flag” at the Bridgewater, MA Public Library. I was pleased to see how many people came to support Richard and Rudy’s labor of love. It was standing room only by the time Richard and Rudy got up to introduce the film. They were happy and honored to see everyone.
It was clear to see that they were very proud of their work. No small amount of sacrifice and effort has gone into getting the film to this point. I feel that this a unique experience that you can’t miss if you had family members who served in the Vietnam War or want to know more about our country during that time.
As I watched this film, I was drawn into the story in Laos and here in Abington, MA. Not to give away all the good parts, but there is a scene about a third of the way into the film that stopped the room cold. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing and it set the tone for the remainder of the film. You will need to watch and see if you agree with me.
A thought occurred to me as I watched Richard Fitts Jr. recount his memories. Many times children are left out of the conversation when it comes to the grieving process. Watching Richard at all stages of his life until there is closure was a stark reminder that everyone pays a price for the life we enjoy in America today.
Keep checking back here and on Richard’s Facebook Page for more information about this project. You don’t want to miss this story about a son honoring is father’s service and his family’s sacrifice.
A big thanks to Mistress Carrie from WAAF for having Richard Fitts Jr. and Rudy Childs on to talk about this project.
I got a Facebook Message a couple days ago from Ben Patton of Patton Veterans Project. He wanted to speak with me about his organization Patton Veterans Project. JJ Bennett, who was a guest on Episode 76 (Episode 76 – Power Breathing & Meditation Interview), had spoken with Ben about this podcast and we talked for a few minutes.
Ben is the grandson of Army General George Patton. According to the website, (https://pattonveteransproject.org/) the mission “is to help veterans coping with posttraumatic stress reduce social isolation and strengthen family, community, and professional bonds. We accomplish this mission through intensive filmmaking workshops enabling participants to collaborate with peers to process their service experiences. We also incorporate screening events that validate veterans’ experiences, advance community dialogue, and educate the public about the mental health challenges facing veterans and military families.” I love this kind of outreach that taps into the creative side of veterans. Ben wanted me to come out this (May 18-20) weekend to take part.
The thing is I had previous commitments and will not be able to make it. I also was not going to be able to do a podcast about the workshop since I had Episode 93 – #impactfulathleteinteraction ready to go. I wanted to do something to get the word out because JJ liked this experience and could not wait to share his video. You can check out his work here: (Major General Zation).
So the following is a livestream from YouTube from yours truly about Patton Veterans Project
The next film workshop is scheduled for May 18-20 2018. Location TDB in the greater Boston Area, MA, and is open to all veterans who have served after 9/11/2001.An additional workshop is also scheduled for later in the Summer. These workshops are part of our ongoing study to support post-911 veterans.
This workshop will run Friday, 6PM-9PM; Saturday and Sunday 9AM-5PM. The workshop is free with meals provided. Participating vets must attend all sessions of a weekend workshop. TO APPLY, CLICK HERE. Also, you can email Javier@pattonveteransproject.org for more information.
18-21 MAY, Bronx VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY
A workshop at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in Bronx, NY is scheduled for late June 18-21 and is open to all veterans. Choose between AM and PM sessions. To register, contact Efrion J. Smith at (718) 584-9000 ext.5432, or email email@example.com
Saturday was go time for Michael Darrah. The Soldier, Army Ranger, husband and father said he was going to step into a ring having never done it before. He did.
I went to Warwick last night to check out Brawl for it All 5. There is some who would say that the boxing scene is dead. After last night, I think that there are some hard working talented athletes and trainers who made the trip worthwhile. These are dedicated, talented people.
Mike was the last card before the main event. He and Team Darrah came out to the “Lion Sleeps Tonight” with flags waving and the crowd loved it.
Speaking of crowd, all I saw was “Team Darrah” shirts and swag everywhere. A big shout out to Mike Smith, who worked behind the scenes to promote and sell tickets. Also it was cool to hang out with Matt D, who is considering following Michael’s footsteps. Good stuff.
Chad and Mike faced off and people around me were like, “Who is this guy?” I was like, “Mike has never fought before, ever…” People started to look at this fight differently.
I don’t know much about boxing. So I respect the hell out of the dedication and effort it takes to get into the ring much less go the distance. Putting my spin on the fight won’t count for much here. All I will say is after watching multiple boxers go down in the first or second round, it was bad ass to see Mike go all three rounds.
In the end, he lost the match by the scorecard, and like that it was over. I walked up to him and saw that he was literally covered in sweat and blood. Some people say it, some people sing it; however, here was a man who walked his talk. So while he didn’t win the match, I will never say that he was beaten.
You made all of us proud Michael. Glad to have met you and let’s train or go riding soon.
** FILE ** In a file photo British soldiers give a hand in rescue operations at the site of the bomb-wrecked U.S. Marine command center near Beirut airport Sunday, Oct. 23, 1983. Imad Mughniyeh, the militant accused of attacks that left hundreds of Americans and Israelis dead, has been killed, Hezbollah said Wednesday Feb. 13, 2008. He was suspected of masterminding the attack on Marine base in Lebanon that killed more than 260 Americans in 1983. (AP Photo/Bill Foley/File)
I was 11 when this happened. I don’t remember much to tell you the truth. I read about it in school, and the bombing was covered in detail when I was in boot camp. A large truck carrying a bomb ran into a command center in Beirut, Lebanon killed over 300 people.
I couldn’t believe that it was worst day of casualties for the Marine Corps since Iwo Jima. This was also when I first heard about Islam. I read James Clavell’s Whirlwind, and started to get an understanding for how different Middle East was compared to my life.
I all know is we can never forget the Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and French soldiers who were killed in this attack.
Several lessons were learned as a result of this attack. One of the primary changes, was the mandate that protective barriers capable of stopping a truck that would have carried bombs. More resources were put into intelligence about terrorism.
Looking back on 9/11 and other terrorist attacks, the question has to be asked if we have learned anything? Or are we still repeating the same mistakes that lead to this terrible event?