As we celebrate another Independence Day, the subject of freedom is top of mind. Everyone has a different idea of freedom, which is exactly what the men and women fought for so bravely all these years – the freedom of choice. Recently, we caught up with Steve Graff, chapter coordinator for East Texas, and asked him what freedom means to him.
“That’s a tough question right now. I am not an outwardly political person, but it gets harder not to be in today’s climate. The whole freedom thing to me it means protect my borders, feed my hungry take care of my infrastructure and get out of my way.
“Freedom is a tricky concept because it’s different for everyone. For me it’s the right to believe what you want to believe without risk of punishment for those beliefs. Flag burners and protestors don’t bother me at all because I served so they could do that without ending up in Siberia. Does it offend me? Sure! But there’s nothing in our nation’s history or constitution that says you have the right NOT to be offended.
You know the adage, walk a mile in my shoes. Well, the truth is that for most civilians, combat Post Traumatic Stress is a mystery. We really do not understand much beyond what we see in movies or read in articles, unless we are living with a veteran.
Called by any of its names, post-traumatic stress disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome or post-traumatic stress, this condition can impact a veteran for his or her life. Yes, life. And it is not a one-size-fits all situation.
This Memorial Day weekend, the leaders from Heroes on the Water will participate in Carry the Load event, which honors our nation’s heroes and the sacrifice they gave for our freedom.
If you are not familiar, Carry the Load is a non-profit dedicated to providing active, meaningful ways to honor and celebrate the sacrifices made by our nation’s heroes — military, law enforcement, firefighters and first responders. The Memorial Day march is an amazing tribute to those who have given so much. Check out the video to learn a little more.
Mother’s Day conjures up many emotions. If you are a young mother, it’s a new experience filled with wonder and joy, and sometimes a lot of messes. For moms with older children, it’s a time to recognize how wonderful your children are, and be proud of all you have accomplished. For a child, you remember the kindness, the nurturing, the support your mom gave you. Unless…
What if you had to deploy to meet the obligations of your military career? What if you had to leave your newborn with family to protect your country? What if now, as a single mom, you had to bond with your child all over again? Would Mother’s Day be different for you? It was for these two brave women who served our country valiantly.
We’ve all experienced it – that single moment when you feel at one with the world. When you are present in a moment of inner peace that encompasses your entire being. You feel whole. For many of our veterans, these moments are too few and far between. Think about it – they have been on high alert for months, fighting for our freedom, fighting side by side with their brothers and sisters in arms, fighting for their lives. Then, whether through injury, disability or the end of their time, it suddenly stops. It’s as if someone has slammed on the brakes.
This is the story we here at Heroes on the Water here frequently, and one of the many reasons we stay dedicated to providing experiences that give just a little bit of peace to so many, like Greg Ramirez and Carmon McCurrie.