Have you ever seen a ship built in dry dock, rolled down the ways, and launched?
Last weekend, I was privileged to witness just such an event.
I assisted at a fundraiser for the Young County Warrior Ranch in Graham, Texas. The Ranch is a not-for-profit run by Retired and former Rangers. They host vet events, and this annual event pays their expenses for the year.
The ship that was launched is a partnership between the Young County Warrior Ranch (YCWR) and our program, The Warrior Connection (TWC), which offers separate free Retreats for healing PTSD to Male Vets, Female Vets, and Spouses of Vets.
With the “Rangers leading the way” in the event, well over 200 vets attended, from Nam to current active duty.
The majority were former or active duty Rangers, Special Forces, and Airborne.
There was a scattering of Army Grunts, Marines, Navy, and even 2 Coast Guard, one who flew the CG Rescue Swimmers.
The most amazing thing for me is that I felt comfortable in a crowd for the first time in 52 years, not worrying about who, if anyone, had my Six.
AND, in that comfort, I took a close look at those who were there, and I was even more amazed.
We Marines consider the Iwo Jima flag-raising a sacred moment in history, with 5 Marines and a Navy Corpsman as the raising party.
When I looked at the vets there, I realized it didn't matter if they were Marines or another branch, I could have picked any 6, and they would scale Mount Suribachi under fire and raise the flag.
For me, last weekend, we most definitely went “All the Way” on a “Rendezvous with Destiny” “To Free those Oppressed” by PTSD.
We will remain “Semper Fidelis” (Always Faithful) to our oaths of service and our Brothers and Sisters in arms.