Thursday, October 24, 2019

What the Hell are you thinking? Part II

I hope my guardian angel has received combat pay for watching over my ass for the past 49 years. Or perhaps my ride on this big blue and green ball spinning around has a purpose. Now I like that idea. (Purpose; a reason for pushing through when what your chasing seems to always be just beyond your reach.) We all have to have a reason to wake up every morning. Curiosity demands it, our nature requires it. How we kick that donkey and start the ride is all up to us. 
As opposed to dropping two tickets on the kiddy ride at the fair and taking the slow easy ride, you decide on the let us see what we had for lunch as we regret wearing boxer shorts on the ride called the gravity destroyer. I have not always chosen the smartest route, but I have never quite once that ride begins. 
It reminds me of that party I went to in Highschool where I was hoping to work up the courage to make a move on a girl I liked. I took it cautiously, perhaps half fear and half anxiety, but in that moment, a fellow classmate swooped in and in a drunken blur, made an ass out of himself. I guess she liked that and I missed my chance. Just another example of why just kicking that bull in the balls and hope for that 8-second ride that will get you a perfect score is the only way to make an impression. However, the impression I want to make is not for fame or fortune. 
The impression I want to carve into the granite of society is "No matter the size of the wall, there is always a ladder that will reach the top. You just cannot be afraid to climb that high".
Ok, now that I have penned that out as an intro to Part II of What the Hell are you Thinking, let's kick this bull in the sack and start this ride. Not just a 5600-mile bicycle ride across this nation, but the ride that is meant to open up the discussion of veteran suicide and for once, solve an issue that has taken more Americans than the wars we fight in. 
A memorial was designed in 2016. A memorial that would be 2000 feet in length and hold over 85000 custom made pavers to honor all soldiers and families. Let me clarify that last sentence. ALL SOLDIERS more specifically is the point. The memorial is designed with two colors of pavers. One Red and one Tan. The red pavers represent veteran suicides and the tan pavers are reserved for all others. The reason for the profound color difference is to show the true impact of what the memorial is being built for. 
No longer will the act dictate who the soldier was. The soldier was a hero. The soldier gave their life to this country. Gave their life not on the battlefield far away, but on what the battlefield left them with. 
So what was I thinking when I put together a 5600-mile bicycle ride from San Diego to St.Augustine Florida then North to Millinocket Maine that will be traversed in winter. My mom asked the same question, except there were a few words like what the @$#% are you thinking. Are you trying to put me in the nuthouse before your dad?
Then I remind her of the Plane crash she was in when she was pregnant with me in her tummy. My ride isn't over. It was not over behind the tree that day on the Appalachian Trail and it wasn't over in a plane crash. I didn't build this wall in my path. Gotta go over it. 
So, what was I thinking? I was thinking I will rely on my military family, all 363 of them that I carried on the first AT hike, and kick this bull in the sack and get this memorial built. Rely on the notion that we are all here for a reason and our ride isn't over. We can Talk or we can Do. What's your pleasure?

1 comment:

  1. George,you r such an inspiration to,so son fought the war,came home,and still fought the war!I fought with him,like so many parents do,not being able to understand,or take his pain away,I now fight everday to survive the loss,of my hero!this is such a big issue,and we,i,am so blessed to have you fighting to get the word out about this!God Bless you,on this journey!i will be there with you,in heart,spirit.