I keep a notebook with me most of the time. I use it to jot down tasting notes, funny things I hear (or say), reminders or just the random thing that pops in my mind.
Yesterday, while driving home from 44 Stone, I heard an advertisement on 93.9 The Eagle for a concert – Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band – a concert to help a wounded veteran.
As most of you know, as a veteran myself – I am always keen to get to know the various charities that aid my fallen brothers and sisters….so down it was jotted in the notebook.
This morning, I took a few minutes to understand what charity Mr. Sinise represents and to also read about Tyler Huffman. Needless to say, I came away impressed on both counts.
Gary Sinise is actor, musician and found of the Gary Sinise Foundation.
The Gary Sinise Foundation was officially formed in 2010, and is dedicated to serving the Nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.
Serving Honor and Need™ is the cornerstone of the foundation, which is built upon its founder’s life-long principals and long standing commitment to be a citizen of action, and to help in any way that one can, the people who serve our country.
Instead of just donating money, Gary uses his fame (and Musical Talents) to act as a spokesman, raise awareness and make a difference – not only with our wounded veterans, but also through the USO and other Military Organizations. For this he should be applauded.
Of course, the true hero here is Marine Lance Cpl. Tyler Huffman. Lance. Cpl. Huffman doesn't have the fame that Gary does – in fact, outside of Mid-Missouri, few have probably heard of him. Instead, he is like you and me – someone who loves his country and served with honor. One thing however does separate Lance Cpl. Huffman from the majority of veterans – On Dec 3 2010, he was wounded in combat, sustaining injuries that have left him paralyzed.
His injuries have not dampened his patriotism or his fighting spirit – as can be seen in this quote:
“That freedom is not free, it has a price. It always has and
always will. The risk of NOT fighting overseas on the enemy’s
turf is far greater than going. If we don’t fight them there,
we would be fighting them here in our own country and
that would put our families and loved ones at greater risk.”
Sadly, as is often the case, our disabled veterans are often not taken care of as well as they should be – or perhaps they injuries that the VA/Government support groups do not properly understand – and they are left to their own devices upon discharge.
This is where the Gary Sinise Foundation really comes into play. Partnered with the Stephan Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation, they have made it their mission to build specially adapted “smart homes” for our most severely wounded service members.
On Friday, July 27th Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band (in conjunction with the two aforementioned charities) will be holding a concert at the Apple Creek Farm in Centertown, MO – a concert to honor and aid Lance Cpl. Huffington. Details and tickets can be found On the Lt. Dan Band Site (HERE).
Even if you are not located in Missouri – there are wounded veterans all over the country that can use your help, and I ask all of you to please review either the sites linked above, or do some research on your own to find something local for you, to find something that fits your beliefs. Once you find it – contribute, donate or (at the very least) help spread the word. I get it – times are tough, but a casual tweet or FB share might put this message in front of someone who can help. Every little bit helps.
Of course, if you are in Mid-Missouri…..try and make it to the concert and show your support. I’m sure it will be a good time for everyone. I personally am traveling, but I am looking at juggling my schedule to attend. Hopefully I will see you there.
Finally, I want to thank Gary for his dedication to our Country and Troops. You have had an impact that goes beyond expectations, and this veteran appreciates it.
Meanwhile – to Lance Cpl. Huffman. As any veteran knows – the wounds you suffered could have very easily been them. We realize that at times your sacrifice goes unheralded – so I wanted to personally offer my thanks for your service….you exemplify the true spirit of a Marine. Thank You!