Why Never Quit Never Forget?
Since I was a little boy I have been an avid reader of American Military History. I also had the opportunity to grow up in a family where many of the men served this nation in its time of need, and have had the fortune to have them share their experiences with me. I am also honored to say now I have several close highly decorated combat veterans whom I consider friends. The lessons that I have learned from reading and from my friends and family have left a great impression on me, despite never having worn the uniform.
For Christmas 2007, I was given Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. I read the book in two days, and will NEVER FORGET these brave men. I made everyone I know read the book, including my wife, Danielle. She resisted at first, not wanting to read a depressing war book. However, she too was incredibly moved by the selfless sacrifices of these great men. It gave us a personal account of the many sacrifices that are being made by all of our military since the War on Terrorism began. We knew at that point we had to give back.
On March 26, 2011, after many hours of hard work in addition to our full-time jobs, my wife and I and a couple of dedicated friends held our first Never Quit Never Forget Gala in our hometown of Baton Rouge. Our gala benefitted the Lone Survivor Foundation and Special Ops Survivors, formerly the United Warrior Survivor Foundation. The event raised over $84,000, which after expenses was divided equally between the two organizations. Needless to say, for amateur fundraisers we considered it a great success!
In September, we attended open sessions of a conference for Special Ops Survivors and saw first hand that every dollar raised went to care for these surviving spouses. Airfare, hotel accommodations, speakers, meals and some much needed fun were all covered by the organization. We heard countless stories from the widows themselves that Special Ops Survivors is helping them not only heal from this terrible tragedy but also helping them once again thrive. At that point we knew we had to continue our work of raising funds for organizations that support wounded warriors and families of the fallen.
There are many worthy foundations supporting our mission. However, many have huge operating budgets, partnerships with corporations and a large media presence. We will continue to seek out organizations that will benefit most from our fund-raising efforts. We are not a 501(c)3 so EVERY penny raised after expenses are paid go to the organizations we support.
This year we will once again support Special Ops Survivors. Our second organization is Wounded Wear founded by Lt. Jason Redman. Attendees of last year’s Gala were amazed and inspired by his story. His organization seeks to ‘Forever Recognize the High Cost of Freedom’. This aligns well with our Never Quit Never Forget mission. Since we are not a 501(c)3, all monies are administered through Wounded Wear this year which is completely tax-deductible.
In closing, it is our duty as civilians to NEVER FORGET the people who are serving here in the States and the ones abroad keeping us safe. Tonight when we are all in our comfortable beds concerned about the often trivial things in our lives which seem so important; right before we close our eyes, we owe every member of our military who has ever slept in barracks, in a hot or cold tent, a foxhole, in a hospital bed, and most importantly the ones who lie in graves around the world and the spouses left behind a prayer for peace, and to express our gratitude for their service and sacrifice. They NEVER QUIT on us!
Please attend our galas, and give a little back to those who have given so much. I promise you will be moved and grateful for these soldiers, their families, and the surviving spouses. As Americans enjoying freedom we OWE THEM!!!! I hope that you will join us!