I have devoted my life to making the lives of our American Military, Veterans, and their families better. – I grew up in a generation filled with war veterans from World War 1, World War II, and the Korean War. My father and every kid I knew had fathers who had served in combat. And as a teenager, the draft began for the war in Vietnam. – I had friends who died and who were wounded. And those who did make it back home who were changed. They had endured the horrors and trauma of battle. – Reintegrating back into their pre-war world seemed impossible. Some drank too much, partied every night, got into fights, and got arrested time after time. – Others held it together and got jobs and tried to live normal lives. But for too many, keeping those jobs was problematic. The sounds and images of war constantly plagued them. It was hard to fit in. It was difficult to conform. – They were trying to be responsible citizens and to make a living, but what they did for work seemed purposeless, and gave them no sense of pride and accomplishment. – Although they had escaped from war and survived that hellscape, they missed it too. It had given immediate purpose and intensity everyday. They were a team of warriors who relied upon and trusted each other with their own lives! They endured Terror, Victory, and Loss together. – Most still declare, even decades later, that those were “the best days of my life.”
In 1970 I began employing active-duty US Marines and sailors who were off-duty, stationed at nearby bases, to work in my commercial cleaning business. The extra money they earned relieved a lot of financial stress from their lives, making them more enjoyable. – Then, I began creating US Veteran Recovery groups in churches and homes and facilities in my area. Eventually, I created a daily and full-time job board for transitioning US Military on US bases (HirePatriots.com). I began making speeches and advocating for their support on TV, radio, and in the press. And I created a non-profit, Patriotic Hearts (PatrioticHearts.org), to raise funds to assist them in other ways. – I created 3-day, all expenses paid Military Marriage Retreats at 4-star, ocean view resorts to combat the 90% divorce rate for combat veterans. I published books about their need for good employment. And I created a business for them to succeed in that employs other US Veterans at good wages, US Military Clean.
Now, I am in my mid 70s. I am still pursuing what I began in 1970, to honor and to assist US Military, Veterans, and their families. – I know that I shall not quit doing so until I take my last breath. I love them all as I do my own sons and daughters. They are in my heart and in my soul. They are my breath as I grow old. –
For every US Veteran, I earnest say,
“Thank you for your honorable and self-sacrificing service!”