In Vero Beach, Florida there is an island sanctuary that is dedicated to the memory of fallen veterans from Indian River County. This quiet sanctuary is a very fitting tribute and a place one can go to reflect on how fortunate we are that there are people who will give of themselves to protect our freedoms in this great country of ours.
Put an end to Bullying & Adolescent Suicide
In year 3 of this mission, I introduced a bicycle ride to my travels to raise
awareness about issues kids are having to deal with at far too young an age.
Bullying and Adolescent Suicide are two of these challenging burdens most kids
will unfairly have to overcome throughout the remainder of their lives. At rides
end we will have ridden enough miles to traveled the perimeter of the earth, twice.
Marine Corps groups across the nation have their annual Toys for Tots drive every year at this time. Hundreds of motorcycles at a local organization gathered for their Toys for Tots ride through the central coast of Florida, I felt the need to become a part of it with my bicycle.
Marine Corps sergeant Carelli played a big part in making sure the donation boxes were filled. At ride’s end, all four boxes were overflowing. This was one generous group.
I have visited six of the seven State veterans nursing homes in Florida thus far. One thing is for certain, these veterans are receiving world class care, to which there is no compare.
The veterans are happy, clean, well cared for well fed and live in pristine conditions. This, they most certainly deserve.
The moment I pulled in the drive to the K9S for WARRIORS, I could tell this is a first-class operation. This group is doing everything to help veterans who come back to the United States and need a guide dog. Although their facility was closed on this day after Thanksgiving, I will most certainly pay a visit when I come back north through the Saint Augustine, Florida area next spring.
The day began with a visit to the Clara White Mission in Jacksonville, Florida. Breakfast was served to nearly 400 impoverished and homeless individuals. Many of those who came we’re happy to have a warm meal served to them by volunteers who took time from their Thanksgiving day to make this possible. The need is great all across the United States.
A film crew from CBS 47 with reporter Bridgette Matter picked up on the Victory Florida Kindness Tour’s bicycle which I brought in to the facility. It is nice to have the media help to spread this message to veterans and their families.
Later in the afternoon we visited VFW Post 7909 in the Orange Park area of Jacksonville. The officers of this post invited us to have Thanksgiving dinner with their VFW family.
We ended the day by visiting a local cemetery where veterans have been laid to rest and a memorial in the downtown Jacksonville area which honors all veterans from Duval County who paid the ultimate sacrifice
On this Thanksgiving I look back on all the friendships I am thankful for and look forward to the friendships to come.
My friend Gary Millington is someone I have held in my heart throughout my life. He used to come north to Cleveland, Ohio from Bradenton, Florida to spend a good deal of the summer with his aunt who lived down the street from my boyhood home.
It has been 43 years since I have seen Gary, until yesterday that is. That is the beauty of lifelong friendship, when you can just pick up where you left off decades ago.
Gary and his wife Dorothy invited me into their home to share some memories and thoughts of life over a wonderful meal, lovingly prepared by Dorothy. It certainly won’t be another 43 years before I see him again.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. May you have a life filled with wonderful, cherished friendships.
The Victory Florida Kindness Tour rolled into Tallahassee yesterday to visit the Museum of Florida History, specifically the WWII display. What an incredible tour of their very informative museum.
Secretary of State, Ken Detzner welcomed us into his office to talk about the impact our ride is having. He is an avid cyclist and he got a really big kick out of my Kindness Bicycle.