The highlight of my whole trip was at the end. After meeting all the injured servicemen and giving them shirts and caps from my new clothing line, we surprised them the next day by escorting them onto the CA-17 aircraft which eventually transported them back to the States. When we got to the flight line it was touching seeing the guys wearing the shirts I had given them, though the highlight was yet to come...
After all the patients were loaded onto the plane, we stood in the center-front part of the aircraft and visited with some of the staff. There was a patient that was strapped in the bottom gurney near us that we had previously visited the day before. He was a victim of an incident which had his arm pretty messed up. He was wearing my shirt and it had the sleeves cut off of it, I am guessing because his arm was so large from all the medical wraps and braces. He was a little sedated due to the pain and didn't even know we were on the plane at this point. I kept an eye on him so that if he noticed us, I would smile and wish him well.
Eventually he looked over and saw that we were on the plane. He then raised his arm out from under his blanket and smiled. Ordinarily, that would be touching enough but what made it even more touching was that he was holding the cap I had given him in his hand. Talk about powerful! He couldn't even wear a cap but was full willing to hold it the whole way back to the states. He didn't even know I was going to be there that day.
I felt so sad and humbled that such a small gift would mean so much to someone. It was the very reason I started Combat Life in the first place and if I never make a penny thats fine with me, because thats what its about right there.
At the time of this post, there have been 4,966 American deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. There have been 31,230 American's wounded in just Iraq alone and that's just the official records. It is estimated at over 100,000 wounded. It is absolutely disgusting the lack of attention and support that our troops are receiving from the public.
These guys are the most heroic and selfless people I have ever met. They don't make much money, they don't get any credit, and yet they serve our Country without hesitance even if it means getting hurt or killed.
So as for all the Servicemen and women who are reading this... Before you tell me that I inspire you, please know that you truly inspire me. It takes a very special person to perform the duties of our Military and though it seems you are sometimes forgotten and looked down upon by the very Nation you protect, know that you have huge support from us in the UFC.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!