Life Can Interfere, Overcoming the Tragedies of Life!
Howdy my Friends and running Buddies on WA. We have eluded several times about a couple of major issues that Deb and I have learned to fight through, deal with, over come. You add Yours. In 2010, Deb and I were having fun traveling America in our RV with our two poodles. We traveled for almost five years, mostly visiting our kids, family and friends. In November 2010, we decide to sell the RV and settle in the Cedar Creek Lake are of Texas. So we sold it and house and property in the county where we raised the kids just north of College Station Texas. The Cedar Creek Lake area was home to a large bunch of Veterans, Vietnam Vets like us to WW2, Korea and all since. We loved the area and was seriously thinking about a house on the lake soon. We started getting more involved in Internet Marketing, especially Traffic Exchanges. Doing a lot of training videos , live webinars, and simple web sites and freeby blogs. At the time, two of our boys, (4 boys and 1 girl) joined the Military right after 911. I understood very well that like many others, they wanted to be a part of the solution and not the problem.
So, one Monday night, April 4, 2011 at about 9:30 PM, we were in a live training webinar and the door bell run. We both wondered, Who in the world could that be, at this time of day. So, I went to the front door and looked through the little peep hole and literally froze and could not even say a word to Deb. Standing on the other side of the door was two Soldiers in Full Dress Uniforms, Standing at attention with a Salute, waiting for us to say something. We finally opened the door and "On behalf of the .........". They had to be at the wrong house, they had too. Our youngest son had just returned in last few months os 2010 and Scott was on third tour. I don't know how to describe what goes through your brain, what to say, how to act. Deb and I were just terrified. We had just returned from Washington State about six months before on our last RV trip to see Scotty and his Family, wife Jennifer, two little girls, Hailey and Amie. They were all in Germany waiting for Scotty to finish assignment. We still freeze up and get cold chills to this day, thinking about April 2 2011. Our kids were all raised in Church and knew full well the purpose and meaning of that. When we first moved to Texas, after leaving Air Force, Deb and a couple of the kids were driving around Robertson County, Texas looking at houses and property, and Scotty asks Deb; Mom, does Jesus have an office here?. Sure he does Scotty.
After the Service and every thing was over, some friends and family wanted us to stay around the area for a while but we just wanted to go home and hide for a while. The Vet Office that was keeping our two poodles (two weeks) while we were taking care of the Service and everything asked if we were the Burgess Family that just had a Son who did not safely return home from Afghanistan, we said yes. It seemed that a few of our friends in the VFW had spread the word a lot across Texas. The Vet office refused to take a penny for the care of the two poodles. We began to see that kid of thing more. We did not log on the Internet for several days, afraid of what we may see or hear. The last conversation that we had with Internet friends was this; Family Tragedy, see ya all later.
When we finally had to nerve to go online we saw Memorial Banners and Black Banners, Yellow Ribbons on things we were doing and every conference room was talking. We were at a total loss of what to do. Could not go online and talk to any one. Finally one day, our Daughter had some t-shirts made at honor the Red Shirt Friday Tradition for those in Uniform and started spreading the word on FB and all other social media. She wanted us to help spread the word. I have done business for several years with a friend in New York named Peter Wolfing. He had sent me an invitation to go to a free webinar by a company named The Free Blog Factory to learn blogging. We did attend but Peter also had told every one about the struggles we were going through and why. Peter made the statement there; I have known Sam for a long time on the net and I know this, Sam has made the statement many times about some people walking into a room full of horse manure; I am the guy that starts digging through the horse manure and tells every one to get out of my way, with this much manure, there has to be a Pony in here too and I will find it. Peter told me to sign up for Free Blog Factory and do Something. You need to do something. Peter was right, I mentioned the Red Shirt Friday Tradition. My new and first time serious blog was whyredshirtfriday. Needless to say it was epic and world wide with all the help we had spreading the word, If we could do a Red Shirt Friday Video about a Vet, Count us in. Deb and I both learned that Blogging was a way out for us, we both did a lot of you tube videos, we are being interviewed on radio, news papers, TV;;; We were given the change to paint a good picture of the Red Shirt Friday Tradition all over the world. The sting of what happened has never to this day subsided for either of us, but we learned many lessons during all of this, there are some great people in this world and they were always lifting us up, telling us that we had some special gifts that came through and from the tragedy, maybe so. We shall see.
About a year later in the spring of 2012, I started going through the screening and testing process for the VA. Our doctor at the Veterans Admin Office called and we need to see you as soon as possible. I told Deb and we kept it quiet and spoke very little about the testing and possible results. The bottom line to all the testing results, they concluded that we had been exposed to Agent Orange in South East Asia during the Vietnam Conflict. I won't go through all the conditions that the attributed to AO, but we were petrified again. We had started looking around for another RV and ready to go out and do some presentations at RV parks and camp grounds regarding the Red Shirt Friday Tradition. We decided this time, disconnect the internet, let family know how to reach us and maintain a low profile. It was getting to be a little scary there because we had started doing what we had taught against. "You gotta stay on the firing line, you gotta stay in touch with people, you gotta find a way to lift people up; "As iron sharpens iron, so does one man (woman) sharpen the wits of another". Through it all, we knew we were blessed and wanted to let others know that they can see through the junk, know matter how devastating and tragic it may be.
I know this may be overstepping my bounds here but Deb and I totally believe that the Awesomeness of WA and how it is growing right now is a prime example of how so many people are reaching out to other people. The old quote of; " If I can do it, you can do it because I am here to help you".
Friends and Running Buddies and Kyle and Carson, Thank you all for indulging. We had to get these stories out there for you folks to understand that We would all be shocked to find out some of the battles people are going through.
Bless You All,
Sam and Deb