I truly believe that the military instills in us certain characteristics like selfless service, leadership, loyalty and duty. The members of The American Legion who choose to be involved don't do it because they need recognition; they do it because we were taught not to ignore problems but to find solutions. Anyone who has been a senior leader in the military or a leader in the corporate world has seen some type of problem-solving diagram that outlines how you come to making the right choice to solving a problem. But it boils down to a simple lesson I learned in the military. I was taught to never walk past a piece of trash on a base without picking it up. If you failed to do so and you were caught, then 10 push-ups would most likely follow a loud voice. Now I am sure that the main purpose was to keep the base looking clean, but what this taught me was if I saw something wrong then I shouldn't ignore it but take actions to fix it. This could be as simple as bending over and picking up that piece of trash.
As I reflect on 2019 I am so humbled by everything. When I got out of the Army in 2005 I was probably at my lowest point. With the lack of support I had in the military, I was medically discharged for my PTSD. I couldn't sleep, I was angry and depressed and a multitude of other things. In fact, at the end of 2005 I was fired from my first real job after the military because the first sergeant at my last unit told the background investigator that I was mentally unstable, crazy and untrustworthy. Now fast-forward 14 years later and I am just humbled by the opportunities God has given me. I heard someone tell me the person we are today is the culmination of decisions we made in our past. Since joining The American Legion I have had so many opportunities come my way.
2019 has been a wonderful year. In January I was recognized as the Post Adjutant of the Year for Texas, March I received the Jockey Texas True Hero Award, May I received the Royse City Modern Woodmen Hometown Hero Award, and now I was honored to share my story in "I Am The American Legion."
There is a saying, "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are right." I am sharing this so you know that no matter how bad you may have it today the future is bright. God opens up doors for us every single day and we choose to either walk past it or we choose to walk through it. Sometimes the door may even be locked, but if you knock hard enough it will open for you.