Veterans Day 2015

JPGus

This past week has been a hectic one to say the least. It unfortunately kicked off with a scare involving my youngest son (13 months) having to go to Children’s hospital with pneumonia and a partially collapsed lung, something that any of you who are parents know can be quite nerve-wracking. I’m happy to say that he is doing much better now, and that the latter portion of the week, though incredibly busy, was much more enjoyable.

As you know, this past Wednesday was Veteran’s Day. For some it is just another day, one which you probably don’t even have off from work or school for. For those who are Veterans, or those who have Veterans near and dear to them however, it is a very important holiday.

Veterans Day is a day where we celebrate those who bravely signed a check for up to and including the cost of their life in order to protect the liberties that we all enjoy, and the values and principles on which our great nation was founded. While Memorial Day is intended to recognize and celebrate those who have passed, and are no longer with us, Vets day is all about those who are still kicking, whether actively defensing the nation, or living amongst us as “normal” people.

With VA backlogs out the ass, and loads of Veterans unable to get the help or benefits that they earned, despite the $142 million payed out to VA execs in bonuses this past year and the fact that a person who chooses to do nothing and simply leech off of the various government assistance programs being able to call an 800 number and have benefits galore by the end of the week, and the staggering number of Veterans committing suicide from unrecognized or untreated PTSD and the general difficulty that can be experienced in re-assimilating into society (22 per day), it is of the utmost importance that we show our Veterans that we care.

I was fortunate enough this year to participate in the Veterans Day parade in Media, PA. It was my first parade, seeing as how I became a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) this past year, and I can tell you that it was a wonderful experience.

I marched ahead of a float created by our post this year that celebrated the POW/MIA “Table of Honor”, a table that you can find in any VFW post that features a full table setting, and a shot for those who are still missing or being held prisoner.

Seeing the enormous crowd of people, young and old lining the streets, waving American flags, and yelling “Thank You!” to us as we marched by truly choked me up. The experience was one that I hope every Veteran gets to enjoy at some point in their lives.

The above photo was from the after event at my post, and features myself and a very good friend “Gus”, an 86 year old Korea Vet who is truly one of my favorite people, and an outstanding mentor for me in the organization.

Gus was drafted for the war in his early twenties. He had a great job with the newspaper and was, in his own words, “Pissing up alleys and running with girls” at the time that his notice came through.

He reported for service, was trained as a radio operator, and shipped off to the front lines. Upon arrival in country, attached to an infantry unit, he was notified that they did not have a space for a radio guy, and assigned to be an assistant gunner to a .50 cal machine gunner holding the line. When the gunner was killed a few weeks into his tour, Gus was tasked with manning the gun himself, and spent the next several months engaging in late night firefights and many, many close calls.

He is just one of the “hidden gems” that you find in places like the VFW, with stories that he’ll happily share over a cigar, a few shots, and a few beers. A wise-cracking hard old bastard that has literally “no fucks to give”, and who represents something of a lost generation of man’s men in this country.

If you haven’t yet, make sure to thank a Vet. I can tell you that it means a lot to them, and often times can add perspective and snap someone out of an otherwise “bad day”.

Now for my contribution…

If you’ve been following for a while, you know that I do something big for Veterans Day each year here on the site.

In the last two years I’ve given away over $35,000 worth of books to Veterans who participated in my Vets Day Giveaways.

I’d like to add to that number significantly this year, even though I’m a bit late to the party.

Any Veteran who emails me jp@johnnypainlive.com with the subject line “Veterans Day Giveaway” will receive any one of my currently available books of their choosing absolutely free.

Just drop me a line with a quick message to tell me what book to send, and feel free to share a few words about yourself and your service.

Additionally, I’m offering Personal Coaching Sessions for $50 to Veterans through the store.

That’s a full $125 off of my normal rate.

Whether you want to discuss your training/diet situation, your professional life, or any and all obstacles that you might be facing, I’m happy to hop on a phone or Skype session with you and assist you in overcoming the challenge.

CLICK HERE to register for your special Veterans rate on Personal Coaching.

These offers are good until Sunday 11/15, so make sure you get your emails in to me, and make sure you capitalize on the savings available for your Coaching session.

I sincerely hope to hear from as many of you as possible, and look forward to getting down to business with a handful of you brave souls.

Feel free to forward and share this with any Vet that you know who you feel may benefit from this as well.

Thank you, and thank you to our Veterans for their sacrifices and service always.

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