Again, I wanted to say thanks for inviting and letting me and my boys go fishing. I have never been the one that wanted to take advantage of the stuff people like you do for us injured guys and service members. In fact, I have probably turned down more hunts and fishing trips than I have ever been on. There are some, what we like to call, “Professional Wounded Warriors” out there that take advantage of the system, and I never wanted to be looked at like that. But your events have always been low key, family oriented; and the people that volunteer with you are very genuine and salt of the earth Americans.

When I went back to Afghanistan for the first time after my amputation, Carson was only about 11 months old. My wife did not like it at all, but I had lost my identity as a man, a caregiver, and was so deep in depression. My amputation saved my life with God’s guidance and providence. Carson was the first child that I was actually around for the first part of his life. When Grayson was born, I was doing all kinds of surgeries, had my leg amputated, and just was not in a good place. But with Carson it was different. I washed him in the sink all the time (when he was little... lol) and I always had him in the wheelchair with me. For once I actually bonded with one of my kids from birth till about a year old. He was always in my lap for the first year. Then I deployed for the first time in January 2010 after the amputation to Afghanistan. I came back April 2010 for emergency leave, Paula’s mom had a heart attack, and had a revision on my stump the next month. Paula told me after I left in January, Carson basically cried for two months. She said he was going through separation anxiety. It nearly broke my heart because I left again in two months for another eight months.

For once I had actually bonded with one of my kids. To this day, Carson and I have that special bond and I feel he gravitates to me more. I can never get back the times I missed, but with events like you put on, I can make new memories and special times. Carson is still talking about fishing. The boy loves to fish...lol! I could never do the things with my children that I do through Combat Warriors. With every fiber of my being, I say a heartfelt “THANK YOU” from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for all your donors, volunteers, and everyone that helps with your events. It takes a special heart to do the things you, your supporters, donors, and volunteers do on a yearly basis. It reminds me of the way Jesus Christ lived his life almost 2,000 years ago. Jesus Christ served others and his life is the supreme example of how we should live ours. Combat Warriors and everyone that makes it up live this example that Jesus Christ set.

I wish I could personally thank everyone that is involved with Combat Warriors and give them a hug. Please pass along this note to all that make it possible for me and other service members to bond with our kids again and provide a time to fellowship with so many others. My gratitude and thanks to all. I know I might not meet all that are involved, but know that you have made a difference in me and my boy’s lives. Thank you and God bless you all and Combat Warriors. I pray that God blesses Combat Warriors and the work you do in service to others when you do not have to.