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So God Made A Soldier

Friday, November 10, 2023

"So God Made A Soldier"

- A Tribute To Those Who Served -

I still remember it like it was yesterday.  It was the morning of September 11, 2001 and I had just gotten married 3 months earlier at the young age of 20.  My brand-new wife called me to tell me to turn on the TV because two commercial planes had flown into the World Trade Center, just minutes apart. As I spent the next several hours watching the events unfold on TV as more planes were highjacked and another crashed into the Pentagon, I still remember that feeling of fear, anger, and confusion trying to make sense of what was happening.

As the days, weeks, and months unfolded, the biggest fear that filled my days was if President Bush was going to enact the draft for the retaliation that everyone knew was coming.  Was I going to have to leave my beautiful new wife, my job, and the plans we were making for our lives to go fight in the impending war that was brought to our doorstep?  Part of me wanted to get revenge, but, if I'm honest, a bigger part of me was scared I wouldn't come home from that.

That moment in time in my life is forever seared into my memory and it has given me a huge appreciation for the men and women who have served this country, both during war and during peace.  

Fast forward to the summer of 2021 and a friend of mine and local entrepreneur, Jay Miralles, called me to see if I would be willing to donate the use of one of our LED billboard trucks for a 50 mile march he was doing to raise money for homeless veterans.  Jay was a veteran and had a brief period in his life when he struggled with this.  He had started this walk the year before with two other people, each with the hopes of raising a couple thousand dollars to split between two veteran charities.  They ended up raising a whopping $25,000!  I was immediately in.  That year, the march raised $141,000 and the following year in 2022 the marchers raised $234,000.

Anyone who has met Jay knows that he is a gifted communicator, and as he saw the birth of something way bigger than himself, he started casting a vision for using the 50 Mile March to create a community of hope where veterans who are facing mental health challenges and homelessness could find hope and support through a community of tiny homes.  This community would exist to help these veterans get back on their feet, gain employment if they didn't have that, and change the trajectory of their lives.

So in the early part of 2023, Jay and his 3 co-founders officially founded the 50 Mile March Foundation and assembled a diverse Board of Directors made up of both former military and non-military members to make this vision a reality.  I had the great honor of being asked to be one of the founding Board Members and with the hard work of the entire new team and volunteers, the 50 Mile March event in 2023 had 80+ walkers and raised over $500,000 to go towards this new mission with the next step being acquiring the land for the Community of Hope.

I tell you all this because there is a whole world of people like me who never served in the military in an official capacity and sometimes feel a little "less than", but that does not mean you are less than anything!  You can serve those who served us.  Serving on this board has shown me how I can use my time, talents, and treasures in multiple ways to care for those who gave towards my freedom at a time when they need support the most.  It has also opened my eyes to a massive problem that I did not know existed.

Here are some sobering facts!  Are you aware that on any given night, 67,495 veterans don't have a bed to sleep in? And worse, every day, 22 veterans takes their own life?   Veterans are twice as likely to commit suicide than those who have not served.   For those veterans that are contemplating suicide, if you asked them if they were doing ok, you would most likely get a response like, "I'm good", but they really aren't.  This is NOT ok!

These statistics break my heart because behind each of these numbers is a family that is being affected in the worst ways imaginable.  It is for all these reasons that I happily give my time, talents, and treasures to show appreciation and help those who served this country.

So on this Veterans Day 2023, let's celebrate those who have served us and then the other 364 days until Veterans Day 2024, let's actually DO something to express our thanks.

If you don't already have a veterans organization that you support with your time, talents, or treasures, please consider donating to the Community of Hope by going to www.50milemarch.org.

Transcript of

So God Made A soldier

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his creation and said, "I need a protector." -- so God made a Soldier. God said, "I need somebody willing to rise before dawn, lace up their boots, endure rigorous training all day, come back to camp, eat supper, then stay up past midnight guarding the camp." -- so God made a Soldier. "I need somebody with arms strong enough to carry a wounded comrade, yet gentle enough to comfort a child in a war-torn village. Somebody to march for miles, navigate treacherous terrains, come home tired, wait to eat until his fellow soldiers have had their fill, then tell them, 'We go again at dawn' — and mean it." -- so God made a Soldier. God said, "I need somebody willing to stand watch all night in the biting cold, stare down the barrel of uncertainty, and think, 'I'll hold the line.' I need someone who can make a shelter out of scraps, a meal out of rations, navigate by the stars when all seems lost, and, when exhausted from constant vigilance, can dig deep and march another twenty miles." -- so God made a Soldier. God had to have somebody ready to run into the face of danger, to protect those left behind, and yet, when hearing a distant cry for help, stop and rush to aid, putting comradeship above all. -- so God made a Soldier. God said, "I need somebody strong enough to face the harshest battles, yet gentle enough to understand the weight of the folded flag. Someone who would stand tall amidst the explosions, the smoke, and the chaos; who would fight on foreign soils so others can sleep peacefully on their own." It had to be somebody who'd march straight into the heart of conflict and not waver; somebody to lead, follow, defend, honor, and remember. Someone who would bond a band of brothers and sisters with the undeniable ties of duty, honor, and sacrifice; who would laugh, then sigh, and then reply, with teary eyes, when a child says they want to spend their life "doing what mom or dad does." -- so God made a Soldier.

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Hi, I'm Jerry Teeter

CEO / Founder Lead Innovations

Welcome to Bootstrap Entrepreneur.  I've been an entrepreneur since 2002 and throughout my journey, I have learned from some amazing mentors on leadership and marketing.  This blog will be a collection of marketing and general leadership principles I have learned along the way.  I will be unlocking practical marketing information that will help small business owner grow their online presence without hiring expensive agencies.

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