Saturday, July 12, 2008

Greater Houston Blind Veterans Bay Fishing Trip

Life is full of unexpected opportunities, coincidences, and blessings - nothing happens by accident. I had the opportunity to accompany my father-in-law (Jimmy Scruggs) on a bay fishing excursion in Galveston with the Greater Houston Blind Veterans (pictured above).

My schedule is crazy these days, but I had promised to take him deep sea fishing and the years had gone by without that promise being kept. However, the Lord provided a way for us to go via the Greater Houston Blind Veterans. I shut down the computer on Friday and we joined a group of Houston veterans for a day of fishing in the bay (what a fun group of ladies and gentlemen).

Sometimes, I feel so impatient and worry about wasting time. I brought a book "The Little Red Book of Selling" by Jeffrey Gitomer to bide my time and keep me productive. This excursion was kind of a distraction (so I thought), until I started to see those who were frequenting the Dr. Michael Debakey Veterans Hospital (got the news this morning about Dr. Debakey's passing at age 99). The veterans walking around had served combat missions and I really became appreciative of this unique trip planned by the VA. These men and women had served their country and now their country was serving them.

When my father-in-law (who served in Viet Nam) and I walked up to the building, I was reminded of how generous and dedicated Dr. Debakey had been to the Veterans, performing his first surgeries on our troops while he himself was in the military in World War II. I am sorry to hear of his passing, but am amazed at his impact on the world, performing over 60,000 heart surgeries in his career. I hope there is a book on his life, I want to read it and learn more about this man who served humanity so well.

These times away from my work and passion, give me pause to reason and reflect. I have to force my self to let go and jump into the moment and if I am not careful, I could miss the opportunity or the reason for the diversions in life. For example, take a look at this cool video of my father-in-law (who is legally blind) catching a shark! He had bragging rights when we came home to share it with his granddaughters. Moments like these are priceless.

My Father-in-law Jimmy Scruggs (legally blind) Catches a Shark

While on this trip, I got to spend a fair amount of time with Kenny Adams, U.S. Army Calvary. Kenny actually goes to my church, but I had not had the opportunity to meet him and as chance would have it, we sat together and had many hours of interesting conversation. Check out his appearance on ABC (found on YouTube).

Kenny Adams of "Helping a Hero" and other Veterans Support Organizations

Kenny is an amazing guy and has an amazing sense of humor and independence. Kenny was wounded by friendly fire in Afghanistan. An American soldier was cleaning his rifle next to Kenny, when it went off and shot him in the jaw with the projectile traveling through his head upward, damaging both of his eyes to the point of total blindness. Kenny told me he "flat-lined" four times while being transported to the medical team that saved his life. Now, I am very proud of my service in the U.S. Marine Corps, but when you sit and talk to a guy like Kenny and see his loss, it can make one feel grateful and humbled.

I remember when the community came together and bought he and his wife Katherine a beautiful home in Katy. I did not know that that would be the beginning for Kenny to get involved to support wounded veterans and Helping a Hero. Helping a Hero is working to give away 1,000 homes to severely wounded veterans and Kenny gets to be the one who helps these families (what a great job). He is a spokesperson of sorts in many causes and has access to just about anyone caring for our vets.

In fact, Kenny and his wife have had an opportunity to dine with former President George and Barbara Bush, he has met many country singers supporting our troops like Toby Keith, John Rich, Ted Nugent (who invited him to go bear hunting), Willie Nelson, Gretchen Wilson, Lee Anne Rhymes, and been honored by many who have reached out their support for his causes. Kenny is an amazing guy who harbors no ill will and still brags about his military saying, "If you ain't Calvary, you ain't shit." He is proud of his unit and our military and I am proud to have finally met him, if only by accident. Get caught up in THE VORTEX!

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1 comment:

Trish | eMailOurMilitary said...

What an amazing post. Thanks so much for sharing this.