Over the long holiday weekend, I was able to get to the drop zone and make some skydives. If you've been listening to my show for a while, you know it's one of my passions in life. This past weekend, 16 of us decided to put a friendly wager on the table and do a dueling 'speedstar' jump. 2 teams of 8, jump out of the plane, without being connected, and see which team can build an 8-way formation the fastest. The teams are made up of all skill levels, so we are by no means competition level, for anything other than bragging rights and fun.
In the air, I am in the star on the right, black jumpsuit.
It wasn't pretty, but it was a blast. Neither team got to 8, but we almost did.
Memorial Day weekend, is the unofficial start of summer... Many of us head to the backyard for a BBQ, or head North to the beach or to the Cape for the long weekend. But, we should not forget that this is a solemn weekend of remembrance. The sacrifices of our troops, the ultimate sacrifices, made by so many so that we can enjoy those BBQ's and beach days should be honored this weekend as well.
There are 300 Million people in the United States, and 1/2 of 1% serve in the armed forces. After 10 years of war, it amazes me that there are still people in this country that do not know someone who has deployed, but there are people like that. People who are lucky enough to watch the news and not be afraid, people who spend birthdays, and anniversary's with those that they love. People that go to bed every night, snuggled up to their soul mates without a care in the world. But the 1/2 of 1% of this country have missed those birthdays and anniversaries. They go to sleep alone, and their loved one's avoid the news, because it's too hard to think of the worst case scenario.
Fortunately for us, most of our brave service members come home at the end of a deployment. They come home different, but they come home. There are those, who do not. Those that have fallen, fighting for what they believe is right. THAT, is what Memorial Day is really about. Remembering them. It's the least that we can do. Remember the families that will never be whole again.
But, it's not just about this war, it's about all of them. Millions have died for those BBQ's and beach days... MILLIONS! And even if you don't know someone who has served and died in the last decade, I promise you that there is someone in your families past who did in another war, in another time. The 300 million of us, owe everything that we have to those brave, fallen warriors, who gave up everything for us.
This weekend 750,000 bikers will make their annual ride to Washington DC to pay tribute to our nations heroes for Rolling Thunder. But, you don't have to ride a motorcycle to our nations capitol do remember the fallen. Just remember!
This Memorial Day, I will be thinking of 2 of those brave soldiers...
PFC Jonathan Roberge who was the first KIA from my home town of Leominster since Vietnam.
and Sgt. Edward Grace who I had the privilege of meeting in Afghanistan.
Enjoy your weekend, just take a few minutes out of it to remember why we have Monday off!
It makes me happy to see people getting involved in support of our troops!
For many of them, the hardest part isn't serving overseas... It's coming home!
I can tell you from personal experience, from my trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, what a humbling experience it was to have these brave men and women watching my back... and to not be able to return that honor back to them is tough... That's why I do everything that I can to support them and their families once they've returned home.
I've interviewed a lot of people over the years. Actors, athletes, and of course musicians... But few of them have led a life half as exciting as Bear Grylls. An adventurer, survivor, SAS soldier, TV star, and now an author. He's got his Best Selling Book "Mud, Sweat, and Tears" in stores and a bunch of new projects in the works.
As I fellow skydiver, I wanted to talk to him about jumping, travelling, his injuries, sleeping inside a dead camel, and what it's like to travel with a wife that packs too much crap!