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Here Are My Heroes…. Who Is Your Hero?

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A few days ago a dear friend introduced me to a group of very special people and a wonderful organization; The Bob Woodruff FoundationStephanie asked if we could help them spread the word for their TweettoRemind campaign and their goal to raise $1.65m by Memorial Day. We of course said yes!

What is Tweet to Remind?

Here is Bob in his own words:

After I was severely injured while reporting on location in Iraq, my family and I realized we had a unique opportunity to reach out and help many of our nation’s injured heroes. In January 2008, my wife Lee and I started ReMIND.org, an organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for service members injured in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as their families. Our current project is the TweetToRemind campaign, which asks individuals and corporations to donate $5.25 or more in an effort to raise $1.65 million by the end of the Memorial Day weekend.

Please read the whole thing, join the campaign and let us know who your heroes are and give what you can to support this worthy cause.  It will certainly make you a hero in my eyes.

As for my heroes I have a lot of them starting with my Mom. After adopting my sister and I when we were babies she sacrificed quite a bit to give us the best life we could ever hope for.

All the men and women serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard and Coast Guard are heroes to me. The amazing volunteers at Soldiers Angels, Fisher House and Semper Fi Fund who lead by example and show all of use civilians how we can do our part.

But today thanks to BlackFive I have some new heroes. Their names are Rachel Pertile and her son Evan. Two days before Thanksgiving in 2008 Rachel tried to annonymously pay the bill for a group of soldiers eating their lunch at a local restaurant. The soldiers found out what she had done and thanked her before she could leave.  Three days later Evan was diagnosed with brain cancer. More on this story from BlackFive:

Evan, now 6 years old, has had two neurosurgeries, radiation and is now having chemotherapy. All of his treatments have been at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. In January, Pertile was on a flight making her way from Memphis back to her home in Colombia when she broke down in tears.

“It was the first time I had gone home since we had ,come to St. Jude’s and we have three other boys and I really wanted to go home and spend some time there,” Pertile said. “But I was really sad to leave Evan because he had just started losing his hair in chunks.”

Sitting next to Pertile on the flight was Brenda Bowen, who works in Classroom Services at the Command and General Staff College. Bowen offered Pertile an ear and a shoulder, and when she found out Evan’s affinity for “Army guys,” she knew there was something she could do to help.

“She told me about her son and how he loves Soldiers, and I thought ‘I bet I can get a few Soldiers to send him messages,'” Bowen said.

After the flight, Bowen contacted Col. Bob Burns, the director of the Center for Army Tactics at CGSC.

“We start getting faculty and the students to send notes to the boy,” Burns said.

Evan has a page at caringbridge.org, a Web site for people to connect with loved ones and others during a critical illness.

“There were a significant number of messages that got posted,” Burns said. “And then it kind of grows like these things do, and guys in Iraq start sending notes.”

What Evan began doing next surprised everyone. Pertile said Evan had been receiving messages on his Web page saying he needed to eat to be Army strong and that Army Rangers have to eat to be strong.

“He started eating – he had completely quit eating and he was like ‘I gotta eat,'” Pertile said. “It was remarkable, it was just incredible, like this unseen force helping my child – the generosity of others.”

In addition to the messages on the Web site, Evan has received his own set of ACUs, a beret and a certificate designating him as an honorary Soldier.

Pertile said she welcomes posts to her son’s Web site http://caringbridge.org/visit/evanpertile. To register, enter an e-mail address and create a password.

Please go read the whole thing at BlackFive.  This story is chock full of heroes that we should all try to emulate.

Who are your heroes?


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