Veterans Day Update

Today was a day without a physical step taken on our journey, but miles of progress were made. It has been marked with messages of support, visits with students, talks with media, and discussions of our trek thus far. The students were not gathered to honor us; rather, today was a day for them to learn about Veterans, sacrifice, service, and many other qualities that are often overlooked and taken for granted in our country.

It is amazing to me how the qualities we honor–on this day– are often the qualities we forget to have guide us daily. Valuing celebrity, possessions and wealth, power, and other vices often guide our compass, if not as individuals, then certainly as a collection of people. But on this day, we stop and recognize the values we would want to see in our children and ourselves and we recognize that few are willing to live them for others– to be soldiers and ambassadors for this Nation, representing all of us with the vigor and sincerity that we wish we saw from our leaders. To serve our communities, neighbors, friends, and families before they serve themselves.

We often fall short in our desire to be who we want to be or what we dream of being one day when we “grow up.” I think, often, when given an especially discouraging predicament, we fall onto, or seek out, the easy path, the path of least resistance. All the while, we continue to visualize what we desire and we let it slip away. The effort to maintain it is not worth the desire to achieve it.

It is in this way that we must honor, respect, and remember the Veteran. They are the ones who saw something they wanted to do–serve in war, serve in peace, serve their family, serve your family– and they went out and did it. No drill sergeant, no drill instructor, no war, no battle, no period of separation could dissuade them from honoring their commitment to all of us. We cannot forget this lesson, or these people will fade away into the history they helped create. They chose the path of ultimate resistance. It cannot be said enough that the effort needed to maintain, honor, protect, and serve them is certainly worth achieving. Our walk is similar in that it is a path of resistance, resistance to acceptance of a reality in which 22 Veterans a day commit suicide, where PTSD destroys people and families, and where the lessons of war are forgotten when the next story hits.

On this day, if no other, learn and reflect on the lessons you’ve learned from the experience of war and service. The perspectives they give are worth the time spent reflecting upon them. The true loss would be to understand the lesson and let it go when you understand it must be maintained and that it is your charge to maintain it. Veterans Day is a day when we can divorce ourselves from the petty political punditry and focus on the lesson and learn from people and not vacant talking heads focused on stealing your attention for their own purposes instead of serving you like those this day is named for.

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12 comments on “Veterans Day Update
  1. gary says:

    We are so proud of both of you! Just incredible! Thank you for your service to God and country and dedication on this Veterans day. To this March for all Veterans, DryHootch and PTSD you are heroes! I hope to see you in Albuquerque!
    The WOW guy

  2. michael says:

    Hey Tom and Anthony, I am ever so impressed by what you two have accomplished, yet wonder if either of you would be able to complete this task if you were alone? Many times during my tenure as a soldier, I can remember being motivated and inspired by my fellow brother (or sister) in arms. Without the support of those in my company, or platoon, I don’t think I would have been able to accomplish the things that I did by my will alone. May you both be a strength and support to each other as you journey onward. As for myself, I have drawn my own strength from the support, and understanding from those I have met while being a member of the Dryhootch team. I will always be grateful for the opportunity I had during my time as barista. Despite certain shortcomings, I was given an opportunity to prove myself….mission accomplished. For that, I thank you all. Travel well…

    Michael

  3. John says:

    Glad you two made it to Colorado! It’s sad to see my fellow Veterans commit suicide especially 22 a day? Sad! 😦 There needs to be prevention. Be safe on your travel, love your updates! Sure wish I was with you guys! As I said before, next year I’d like to ride my bicycle to Colorado (where I use to live) for a fundraiser to help Vets. Something I’m still debating.

    John DryHootch customer USMC 78-83 Semper Fi

    • veteranstrek says:

      If you can do it, you should definitely try the ride.

    • Heather says:

      I’ll ride with you. I’m an avid cyclist and have family in colorado

      • John says:

        Thank you! Yes, I am still debating and it would be in the spring time. I would be taking the Discovery Trail that goes from Wash. D.C. to San Francisco. It goes through northern Illinois out to Colorado, the southern trail splits in Indiana and travels through southern Illinois. You can Google Discovery Trail for more information. I would be pulling a pop-up camper trailer that’s made for cyclists. It’s little over $800 but pretty cool. Anyhow, if I decide to go, anyone is welcome to join me! I would stop at Colorado Springs, CO where I use to live. I would be paying for my own food and supplies out of my own pocket…no donations. Again, this is not official I am going to do this, still debating and I’ll follow up in the near future. Thanks! John

  4. Heather says:

    Very well said

  5. Terry Smith says:

    been watching your progress …. all the way … when will you be in the Denver metro area? I still want to walk with you some when you are coming through this area …. Terry Smith “Trapper”

  6. LeAnn says:

    Beautiful.

  7. Well said I hope your Veterans Day was peaceful and respect . Peace out my friends journey on.

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